Legacies that I might leave....

The last few days, spending time in my home town and state, has been an interesting time. Primarily reliving memories of my parents who passed away recently as I tried to sort out some legal and other paper work. I spend time with friends and relatives, banks and government offices sorting out paper work.  During the various sharing of memories, we would talk much about the legacy left by parents, but at the end, would come back to one matter – the current Surgical strike on money by our respected Prime Minister. No talk in the last 4 days, happened without some discussion on the money issue. Which was in one way revealing - how much our lives are linked to “money” and how life revolves around money and the resources we need and have….

Sitting in a bank manager’s office for three days, filling up forms and papers (not for this crisis!) I kept hearing stories of people who walked in to ask opinion from the manager how to survive these crises. There were many who through this surgical strike has gone on to major challenges and need immediate critical care. Some who needed urgent life support and some others who seems to have come out fast from the surgery.

But during these conversations I was left with some stories linked to legacy, some of those stories, encouraging, some disturbing.

I heard story of one man who came to the manager and told – I have 1 crore cash, can you take that and give my 90 Lacs, 10 Lacs you can keep; I heard from the lawyer about a man who had just closed a deal of land sale for 60 lacs (the revealed price) but got 2 crores or so, – most of it as cash, the day before the strike, and keeping that for buying another property for children. And how both these people losing their cash. Tring to leave a “Cash Legacy” for their families and children and losing that in one strike.

At the same time, I heard this story from a close family member who is a successful business man. He said “I have a business which has more cash flow that most business men in my town. But I only have just enough to live a comfortable life. Because from the beginning I was clear that all the money will be white and all taxes will be paid. So, I was left with just enough money to live and take care of my family though I could have been one of the richest in the town. Due to this, we have told our children – that they will not get into any college based on capitation fees. They must get through merit. Both got into courses they wanted, because they knew that they had to work and get in. We saw God working out every step. The surgical strike was a revelation that this life style is worth it”.

I visited some friends and relatives with concrete mansions. Multi bed roomed concrete mansions built for leaving it as legacy for their children. But currently occupied only one or two aging parents, waiting for the children for whom these were built to come back. But very unlikely since that have gone off to other countries. And with this surgical strike, fear all around that the prices of property will drop soon and all their Concrete Mansions Legacy may not be worth what they had put in….

At the same time, I visited an elderly care unit being built by a close friend. Trying to provide a supportive community to such ageing families and individuals. Opportunity to live together with others like them in a caring community context. This friend, in faith putting all his life savings and resources into this venture, because he feels called to provide this to at least a few families though the financial sustainability and future are uncertain.

I heard about another geriatric care facility in a small mission hospital. One of my relatives is there. As a friend visited the facility where more than 80 such elderly live, he asked a question to the people who run the same. Are these people who are here, from the lower socio economic background? The answer was, most of them are professionals, and well educated senior officials, from some higher economic strata, with children out of the country. The wealth of experience and the “Legacy of career” that would be there in that facility would be much. If there was a way by which one can tap the cumulative knowledge and wisdom, there…...? Being a knowledge based and 100% literate state, I am sure the legacy of knowledge in the state would be much more than any other…. But as they grow old, the careers these people would have built up and the contribution they would have had in their young and mid life years, mostly forgotten.

At the same time, I had an opportunity to counsel a young girl who was considering her future life choices. I was encouraged to hear from her that she did not want follow the “Medicine” “Engineering” career streams which 90% of her friends would chose. Her decision would be based on how she can contribute to the community at large, and God’s Kingdom and what God wants her to do with her life. She was willing to wait and take a decision even if it takes time, for that clarity to emerge. Working towards a contribution legacy than a career legacy early in age….

But as I continued to listen, especially to friends and relatives about my parents lives and their contributions, what I was left with was, not cash, concrete mansion, their contributions or career. Yes, there is some cash left. The concrete house is crumbling down. They did contribute in their fields they choose. But these are not what I heard about.

I heard was about character. The legacy of character. How their lives influenced others. It was about care and compassion. The legacy of love and legacy left through relationships they cultivated.

The surgical strike has produced cracks in the foundations of cash, concrete mansions as legacy to leave. Career and contribution are part of life but may not be remembered for long. But legacy of character, care and compassion role modelled through relationships, might last a bit more longer than others….

We need a few more surgical strikes to shake the foundations of our legacies we are building on....and move from shaky foundations to foundations that last…What is the legacy I might be leaving….?

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