Bob Tamasy: Legacy: The Impact That Keeps On Giving

Monday, May 21, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

The term “legacy” isn’t going away any time soon. It became a fixture of my own vocabulary in 2001, when I joined the team of a non-profit named Leaders Legacy. Since then, it seems just about everyone has jumped on the legacy bandwagon. We hear about it on TV and radio, online, and many businesses have made it a focal point for their planning.

Despite living in times that encourage a right-now, gotta-have-it-immediately mindset, there’s a growing awareness of the need for a longer term view, that what we do and say today can live on many years after we’ve checked out of this life.

Maybe it’s a Baby Boomer thing, members of a generation aging and wondering whether they’ve made any difference at all in this world. I heard legacy discussed again recently when Mart Green, board chair of Hobby Lobby, spoke at a local leadership prayer breakfast.

Legacy has been defined, Green said, as “something transmitted, or received by others.” He elaborated that one’s legacy consists of “something someone’s achieved that continues to live on after they die.” He likened it to passing a baton during a foot race. A relay team can have a big lead, but if the baton fails to pass from one runner to the next, all is lost.

One’s legacy can come in many forms, including success in the workplace, fame, or contributions to society. Some people regard their estate or net worth at their time of death as their legacy. But many successful business people, celebrities, and wealthy individuals from decades or centuries ago aren’t even dim memories today.

So how do we build a lasting, meaningful legacy? Dr. Billy Graham, who surely left a legacy that figures to continue for a long, long time, offered this view: “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

Simply put, but it says a lot. Proverbs 10:7 seems to agree: “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” If that sounds too blunt, consider Proverbs 13:9: “The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.”

Lots of people may come to mind that are remembered for unsavory reasons, but who designs to do that? We all hope to leave a mark in life for positive reasons, don’t we? That’s why striving to build an eternal, spiritual legacy is wise.

The Israelites – and all of God’s people today – were given this admonition: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

One of the greatest investments we can make isn’t measured by dollar signs. It’s our children and the kind of people we’ve helped them become. As Proverbs 17:6 states, Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” But the Scriptures make clear that physical offspring aren’t the only source of an enduring legacy. Spiritual children can be as well.

Years ago a friend showed me a special verse, Isaiah 43:4, in which God tells His followers, “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.” Sounds like a fair trade to me.

And 2 Timothy 2:2 gives a multi-generational picture of what this looks like. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will also be qualified to teach others.” That, from the Lord’s point of view, is a legacy that matters.

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Men In Ministry Event At Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist On June 24

The public is invited to Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 1115 North Moore Road in Chattanooga on June 24 at 10:45 a.m. as they celebrate "Men In Ministry."  The guest speaker will be Dr. Bryan Johnson, Hamilton County School Superintendent. (click for more)

Father's Day Message Offered At Metro Tab Church

The public is invited to worship at Metro Tab Church, 2101 West Shepherd Road in Chattanooga, this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The Father's Day message, preached by Pastor Steve Ball, will be, "I Need a Father." Metro Tab is a multicultural and non-denominational ministry. (click for more)

Former County Mayor, Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey Dies

Former County Mayor and Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey has died after a recent illness. Mr. Ramsey held a number of top government posts after leaving his strawberry farm at Harrison and going into politics. He was a major factor in the development of the Enterprise South Industrial Park and landing Volkswagen as its main tenant. He served in the state legislature and was ... (click for more)

Gerald McCormick Pulls Out Of House Race After Move To Nashville; Greg Martin, Tony Sanders, Robin Smith Eye Post

Former House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick has decided to pull out of the House District 26 race and take a position with an engineering firm in Nashville. Among the top contenders considering the post are County Commissioner Greg Martin, former county Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders and former state GOP Chairman Robin Smith.  Rep. McCormick's wife, Kim, ... (click for more)

Will Chattanooga Miss Another Reinvestment Opportunity?

In April, First Tennessee Bank and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition announced an agreement on a $3.9 billion reinvestment plan for economic development in low to moderate income communities under the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. The Chattanooga Times Free Press soon followed with an article reviewing the plan in depth. The plan presented Chattanooga, as well as ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Are We Like Nazis?

Four years after William Styron’s best-seller ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ had achieved the highest height of an atrocity that the literary world had known at the time, a little girl who was birthed the same year as the book (1979) was cast as Meryl Streep’s daughter in the movie. The four-year-old blonde knew nothing about evil, not to mention the Holocaust, but she became enamored with ... (click for more)