A friend I was very fond of died recently. I’m sad that there will be no more of those stimulating conversations with him, but glad that he is no longer suffering. And talking with his widow reminded me that the only real lasting achievement we have is who we are, what we’re like as a person.

It has nothing to do with our status or wealth or education. They are not what people will remember us fondly for. It is our kindness, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, our sense of humour, our ability to relate to others, our curiosity about life and the world – all those characteristics that we can all have, no matter what our circumstances.

Our legacy is not the stuff we leave behind. It is the effect we have had on others who have encountered us. We live on in people’s hearts, not their heads.

Tom was a lovely man, full of life. He enjoyed talking ‘big stuff’, and had strong opinions, but also listened and showed care for others’ worlds. He would turn his hand to anything and help in any way he could, without a second thought. His heart was always in the right place.

I want to leave behind that sort of legacy, don’t you? Let’s nurture what we’re likeand the positive effect we can have on others. It’s the most important thing we’ll do if we want to make a difference in the world, and leave a lasting legacy in people’s hearts.

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