What Will Your Legacy Be?
D. Charles Williams, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist
“Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.” Judy Blume
“Our children want to be just like us when they are young, nothing like us when they are teens, and they become like us for better and worse when they are adults.” (DCW)
Others may listen to what we say, but they will be most influenced by what we do. Words are easy to offer up, but what we do verifies what is most important to us.
Have you ever considered what legacy you are leaving your children?
Most of us are very concerned about what kind of world economically and environmentally we are leaving our children and grandchildren. Isn’t it as important to be concerned about how we are shaping the kind of people they become?
There are no perfect parents because there are no perfect people. We don’t have to be perfect, but our children need to see us facing the challenges our lives hold. When they us struggling to correct personal flaws, improve our marriage, or make amends with others, it leaves a legacy. It tells them we are trying to be better people. It also provides them with the tools that they need to fight their battles as they occur.
Adult children whose parents have experienced infidelity have a higher probability of having an affair or of being married to someone who is unfaithful. When their parents are willing to heal and repair that betrayal, those adult children are less likely to be unfaithful.
So even a marriage that has been ravaged by infidelity can be repaired. In fact, research tells us that two-thirds of the couples who experience an affair stay married and half of those marriages become stronger if they get counseling. They don’t get better with time, but with effort.
The legacies we leave last a lifetime. They can help or hurt or children and their children. It is never too late to leave a positive legacy, so that the next generation will live a better life than we did.
What will your legacy be?