When I began writing the acknowledgment page for my dissertation, I found myself reflecting on one of my favorite quotes. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
As I wrote my acknowledgments, I asked myself if I was creating a legacy for my grandchildren? So you might ask, why is leaving a legacy important?
As a child, I was very blessed to be surrounded by many role models. I grew up in an urban community surrounded by family. I come from a large family and most lived within a 10 miles radius of my house. In fact, one of my cousins, who was also my 2nd grade teacher, lived five houses away down the street.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He was a very wise and practical man, who embodied the principles of faith, family, and education. I would spend hours watching and working with him, while listening to him share his philosophies about life.
My grandfather would tell me stories of growing up in South Carolina. My grandfather spoke from his experiences and while his idea of what “girls” could do was limited, he always encouraged me to dream big.
Let me share a couple of Grandfather’s timeless pearls of wisdom. He would say:
- “Get your education because no one can ever take it away from you.”
- “Get your education so you will not be a man’s door mat to wipe his feet on.”
- “Never marry a man who thinks he looks better than you, because he will spend all of his money on himself instead of you.”
- “Make sure your husband can work with his hands.”
- “God has plan for you. Trust him.”
My grandfather left a rich legacy for his grandchildren to build on and move our family forward. All seven of his children earned a high school diploma. Six of his seven children graduated from college and have advance degrees. More than half of his grandchildren have a bachelor’s degree and several of us have advance degrees.
Without the support and encouragement of my family and mentors, especially mu grandfather, my life would have gone in a different direction!
In Part II of Creating a Lasting Legacy, we will discuss Investing in Others.
Until then, scroll down to the comments section and tell me, whose shoulders are you standing on?