Home CFB Borden Padre’s Corner: A living legacy

Padre’s Corner: A living legacy

Granddaughter supporting her grandmother. Hands close up.

Have you ever considered what your legacy will be?

I’m not referring to how much money you will leave to your children or relatives. And I’m not talking about being popular or always remembered as “a great guy”. And I’m definitely not implying that your legacy only comes into effect after you die. We’re talking about a living legacy.

Well so much for what it is not. Now let’s try to capture what it is! It is something you transfer or give to those who come after you. Maybe you’ve experienced the “legacy” of someone turning over their office to you and it’s a mess…not the most pleasant. Maybe you’ve experienced a person in your career who took the time to share with you some useful, practical information – not because they had to, but to be helpful. What kind of legacy would you want to receive from those who came before you? Whether you received a good legacy or not, you can choose what kind you will pass on.

One interesting aspect of legacies is that the one who gives does not get to control how the gift is used. And that can be difficult for the giver. But as challenging as it is, that may also be why it is so important. A positive legacy must involve trust. It’s about building relationship and building other people up.

A true legacy must come from a place of strength. We cannot give what we do not have. Will we use our strength to heal or hurt? Will we use our power to defend what is right and good or will we just strive for more and more power?

Now some people might feel lacking in power, and I want to push back a bit. Whatever talent, whatever gift, whatever knowledge, whatever skill, whatever attitude, whatever position and responsibility you have is power. How will you use it?

There’s an ancient bit of wisdom that says if you are faithful with a little, then you can be trusted with more. So let’s practice using our power, however small it may feel at times, to create a living legacy of good for those who come after us.

By: Lt(N) Shiya Janzen, Chaplain Course Director, Canadian Forces Chaplain School and Centre