Leaving a Legacy

What we do is more than what is done for today. For many of us, our daily routines will be nothing more than that – a daily routine. We will live within the confines of our life never thinking beyond the moments we live. For some, though, we will live on far beyond our lifetime. We will leave a legacy of change, of revolution, of inspiration.

What we do and who we are is more than the sum of all the parts – its who we touch and change. Who we impact and inspire. What we do today, affects what happens tomorrow.

“We ought to pattern our lives after such women and make choices that will leave a permanent imprint on history.”

[singlepic id=14 w=320 h=240 float=right]It is because of Catherine the Great’s ingenuity and determination that her reign is know as the Golden age of Russia. She came to power after a coup d’etat with her husband. She took that opportunity and her love of western Europe and began transforming Russia. She felt, above all else, that education would lead her people to become one of the great powers of Europe (she established the first state-based higher education for women), and she was right. She loved art, philosophy and literature and often gave sanctuary to those that sought Enlightenment.

[singlepic id=15 w=320 h=240 float=left]Jane Austen, one of the world’s most renowned literary authors, writes with “realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics,” The Jane Austen Companion, p.102 says of her work. “Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security,” (Wikipedia). Although Austen wrote of dissention and an overall discontent for the status quo she followed societal rules and participated as she was expected. She lived her alterior life through her fiction and has for centuries, as I am sure she will continue to do, touched the heart of women of all ages and inspired radicalism despite the fact that she was personally unable to do so.

[singlepic id=16 w=320 h=240 float=right]Emily Dickinson known for her poetry, was introverted and thought to be eccentric. Often, her poetry was filled with death and melancholy. Her fame was not known to her during her lifetime, though a few close friends knew of her poetry and other writings. It wasn’t until after her death that Emily gained notoriety for her work and became known has one of America’s great poets.

These women came to fame in unconventional and sometimes unrecognized ways. It was their determination and passion that led them in their pursuit of the arts. All of these women changed the face of history through efforts to broaden the horizon of education, literature, and enlightenment. The latter two were not famous in their own lifetime.

It is important to remember that the things we do today are not simply for today. Most often our work and our legacy will be remembered after we are gone. So, while we are here on this earth, we ought to pattern our lives after such women and make choices that will leave a permanent imprint on history.

Who are the women that have impacted you? Share what they have done with someone in your community in a way that will tell their story and leave a legacy that others can benefit from!


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