The Legacy of Influence

From Mark – “The Legacy of Influence”

Well, my calendar says its 1st December 2016 … what does that mean for you? A time of delight? Or is it wonder at where the year went so fast?

On TV yesterday, I saw Oprah Winfrey interviewed, and she said something like:

“What makes my life meaningful is not the size of my swimming pool, my wardrobe or my car … its my legacy … whose lives have I influenced, and how have I influenced them?”

She further went on to say: “When people ask – ‘how do you decide who to give to from the Oprah Foundation, … what projects to support from all the possible people and causes?’ – I choose on what matters to me. If it doesn’t matter to me, and come from my heart, I don’t give to it. When I was young, and in need, people helped me, did something for me or my family, helped me with education, etc … and so those are some causes I have passion about, they mean something to me.”

As I reflected on that, I thought about some people who helped me in formative days, struggle days, times when many had deserted me, or times when I didn’t know how to solve something or cope with something. They (friends, family, colleagues, teachers, strangers) took time to teach me things, work through things with me, educate my mind-set, ‘call me out’ on stuff, be a good model of something for me. None of them were perfect, or had it all together. All had their flaws, and their own struggles … yet they reached out from that place, and offered what good they could offer, gave from their wealth of life experience and insight and sometimes practical assistance. Investments that continue to pay dividends in my life, and many get ‘paid-forward’.

I valued that. And I realise that’s what rings my bells … helping those I can help in a way that comes from a meaningful place inside me. And honestly recognising that I neither can help, nor want to help, everyone. And some may have been irritated that I didn’t help how they expected.

So to anyone who who’s wondering what to give for Christmas … perhaps you can consider Oprah’s self-reflection above, about who and how you have influenced this year. And choose to give whatever you give, from a meaningful place within you.

I wish you all peace and restoration during the holiday season.

Mark Klaassen


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