Have you ever thought about your Legacy?

Yes, I’m serious…have you ever thought of your Legacy?

I know usually when I hear the word “legacy” I often think of how the word is used overwhelmingly in the sports world. For example, this year Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning, retired. Peyton is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Leading up to his retirement speech Peyton had a negative media issue surrounding him, and many sports analysts discussed what would his legacy eventually be if the issue sticks around? Peyton is the “class act” of the NFL. In all his years playing, there were no blemishes on his record off the field. This media issue, from when he is 19 years old mind you, could be the one thing that tarnished his legacy. Peyton himself is a son of another legacy, Archie Manning, who also was a NFL quarterback and was flawless off the field as well. In my humble opinion the media issue will be a non-factor and he, as we all know, will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

We also hear the word legacy tossed around with moguls like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and any and every President past, present and future. There are so many more, but again I ask have you ever thought about your legacy?

In February, I was able to attend a Summit called Dad 2.0. The Dad 2.0 Summit is an open conversation about the commercial power of dads online, and an opportunity to learn the tools used by influential bloggers to create high-quality content, build personal brands, and develop business ideas, but most importantly promoting the importance of fatherhood.

The opening keynote speaker was Brad Meltzer. Brad is designated as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 20 most powerful writers, he is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and eight other bestselling thrillers.

To be honest I hadn’t thought about legacy much until I heard Brad’s outline about the power of legacy, which begins with the care a dad shows his family and flows outward among strangers to whom he’s barely related. When a dad finds his strength and learns about his inner hero, he can make the biggest impact on tomorrow’s fathers.

He mentioned four categories of legacy. I have a ton of notes so I’ll just list them and speak on a few.  But you can see a brief summary in this interview.

  1. Family
  2. Peers (co-workers/teachers, etc.)
  3. Community
  4. Strangers

In another blog post I will speak on family, but there are two instances which legacy with peers, community and strangers started to come across my mind.

The first actually happened at the Dad2.0 Summit in the form of a photo shoot. This was the 5th summit and it’s no secret most of the attendees are white dad bloggers. It’s not an issue as we are all brothers with a common cause and fight many of the same misconceptions about fatherhood. But at this summit we had a decent representation of black dad bloggers. Something we hadn’t had the past four conferences.

Oh, did I mention I was a speaker at said summit? Well yes, yes I was!

I digress.

PEERS

I can’t remember who mentioned it, but we all decided to take a group picture since we had a decent group of black dads. Kia Motors was one of the sponsors of the event and they allowed attendees to test drive their vehicles (I drove the K900…and yes…I drooled), but they also had professional photographers to take headshots, and a pose or two of those who needed to update their professional look. They were kind enough to set some time for us to take a group photo. We missed a couple of dads, but the photo was the beginning of what we hoped to be our legacy at the conference and beyond. We want to see more black dads enjoy the benefits of this summit, but also forge more bonds with other black dads around the country. And this will be the group to lay that foundation.

 

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COMMUNITY / STRANGERS

Last year I had a thought about riding a bike with my son in our community with other dads and their families. It was just an idea, but after talking with people in the know, a committee was put together and we hosted the first All Geared Up – A Family Bike Event. This event focuses on family time, exercise, health and wellness. Our committee worked hard and our first year was a huge success. At the time of this post our committee is gearing up (see what I did there?) for our second year.

The event has a family bike ride, a bike rodeo for the younger children, a father/child tricycle race, bike helmet give-a-way and a low cost bike sale from donated bikes. The latter is where I began to think of legacy. We sold the bikes for ten dollars and one of the best stories we came away with was that a young boy came up to the station and pulled his crumpled dollars out of his pocket, presented it to one of the volunteers and said, “you mean I can buy a bike for this?” When the volunteer answered, “yes,” the child’s eyes and face lit up with joy, and he proceeded to quickly hand the money over and run to get his bike. That story along with the smiles seen by children and adults alike that day brings an unexplainable feeling. All those people…at an event…that was first just a thought.

It is my hope that this event continues to grow annually beyond what our initial committee has started. I believe it can.

 

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I’m humbled to be a part of these two examples of legacy in my life. I wouldn’t have noticed or even thought about legacy personally had not Brad asked us…”What is your legacy?”

So again I ask you…

What is YOUR legacy?

 

Until then…

 

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