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8 Ways to Build a Lasting Legacy That Family Treasure

Andrew Ronald
Simirity Founder | Father of Two

At a certain age, the desire to make a difference in other people’s lives kicks in. Building a lasting legacy is one way to give back to the people you care about, including future generations you’ll never meet. Through this act of kindness, you can create a lasting impact on the world while giving you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

To leave a legacy is a common desire, but where do you start? A legacy isn’t created in a day, and there are many ways to create one. 

In this article, we explore what forms a legacy might take and hone in on one type everyone can create, regardless of wealth.

A happy girl followed by her Grandfather.

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What Is a Lasting Legacy?

A legacy is what lives on after you’re gone – a footprint on the world that says, “I was here”.

It is your gift to those you leave behind.

Legacies are fuelled in part by our human desire to live on in some way, past death. We want to be remembered and show that our limited time here has left a positive impact on family and friends. 

As a society, we hope future generations will live better lives. Our legacies could help make this a reality.

However, not all legacies last. They endure for a period before the impact on others diminishes to zero. How many of your ancestors left you a legacy that has impacted your life somehow? It’s pretty rare, but not impossible if you consider what endures, or better still, appreciates in value over time.

Build A Legacy That Helps Not Hinders

Not all legacies are a force for good; some hinder those who inherit them. The children of high achievers may inherit high expectations that risk them spending their lives in the shadow of their parents.

So what makes a ‘good’ legacy?

It can be anything that provides a positive impact on the recipients. Empowering, encouraging or helping those you leave behind. And the best legacy would do this indefinitely, helping generation after generation.

8 Legacies That Make a Positive Difference

Our legacy or ‘gift’ to others can take many forms. Famous people like the Beatles have music as their legacy and Nelson Mandela changed the world through his beliefs and actions.

But legacies are for everyone, not just the select few we hear about in the news.

Let’s explore some common ways to build a lasting legacy.

1. Financial Legacy

For some people, financial wealth or property is their legacy. While easily conceived as a great gift, a huge financial legacy can hinder rather than help in the long term. Those inheriting large amounts of money risk never gaining the satisfaction of making their own way in the world. Milking the golden cow ends up robbing them of the opportunity to craft their own life.

And ultimately, most financial legacies will not last indefinitely. They will be spent, and subsequent generations will miss out.

2. Real Estate Legacy

Another common legacy is the passing on of property, most commonly a family home. Many homes pass between generations in this way for long periods, but it only takes one generation to want to live elsewhere, and the home is no longer passed on.

3. Knowledge Legacy

Those with sufficient funds might set up a scholarship fund to help people without the financial means obtain a quality education. However, unless you can setup a scholarship in perpetuity, you will only be able to fund so many scholars. 

4. Cultural Legacy

Some people leave a lasting legacy in the form of artwork, music, sculptures, etc. The works of people like Monet will live on forever and impact the world in a cultural sense.

5. Environmental Legacy

How we lead our lives impacts the planet we live on.

The consumption of resources, the creation of pollutants and so on. But we can also have a positive impact by actively protecting the planet by influencing other’s behaviour and trying to change policies.  

6. Community Legacy

Perhaps you can create change within your local community? Establishing or contributing towards local services and facilities. Cultivating new ways of solving local problems. Building impactful and meaningful relationships with people within the community.

7. Innovation Legacy

Inventions and discoveries add value to the world, solving problems or adding value to our lives. Inventors of vaccines and scientists enhancing our understanding of the world make a lasting legacy that helps all of humankind. 

8. Family Legacy

As a parent, in many ways, your greatest legacy is your children. 

Your greatest contribution may not be something you do but someone you raise.

Unknown

Family legacies are available to all. You don’t need to be rich, or super creative or intelligent to leave a lasting legacy. It’s built into your family. Having children within your family community is the necessary first step, but that’s not enough. It’s their skills, their mindset, their knowledge, their principles, and the family culture they pass on that become your legacy. You get to play your part, even if it’s as an aunt, uncle or close family friend.

Simirity is a family business, and this is the type of legacy we are most passionate about. In the next section, we explore the fundamental role of stories as the primary way of creating a meaningful and lasting legacy.  

The Role Of Stories in Family Legacies

By communicating with others, you can offer something far more precious and enduring than anything money can buy. 

Even simple things, like a grandparent’s childhood stories or the know-how for a favourite family recipe, send ripples that can touch the lives of many generations. 

As we will see, stories have the power to make the world a better place.

Stories at the Centre of Humanity

Humanity is not constructed with flesh and bones, but with stories. Stories that bind us together as families, tribes and communities. Uniting us in traditions, spurring us into action and guiding our decisions.

Stories can capture our attention for hours. Why do our brains love stories so much?

  1. We are social creatures and stories are an effective way to share information and values. Especially when they are personal or emotionally charged.
  2. Stories offer a way for people to connect personally. Through stories, we learn about other people, strengthening our bond with them and building trust, compassion, and empathy.

Throughout history, people and organisations have used the power of stories to pass on their message. Businesses can use stories to align their teams with their vision and principles. Religions have used stories to convey their beliefs for thousands of years. Human history itself is recorded in stories. For example, the 2,000-year-old ‘Smriti’ recorded all aspects of life and inspired us to name our service ‘Simirity’.

As families, our interests lie in ‘life stories’, which offer insights into our experiences, thoughts, principles, and life lessons. By sharing them, we create a positive and enduring legacy that strengthens our family and connects us with today’s and tomorrow’s family members.

Imagine growing up immersed in stories from your whole family, including your ancestors. Wouldn’t your world perspective be broadened and family ties strengthened?

Communicating stories that positively impact other’s lives can be done by everyone – it’s not reserved for the rich.

You don’t need to invent or discover anything, build a company or write a best-seller. Anyone, regardless of wealth, can create the most inspirational family legacy. 

How You Can Build a Family Legacy With Simirity

There’s nothing extraordinary about my family. No revolutionary breakthroughs or assets of note to pass on as our legacy. But within our circle, our lives matter.

We believe in the impact a family legacy can have, and we wanted to do all we could to preserve our stories so our children and future generations can connect with us and learn from our lives.

On our family holiday.

Beyond talking about our family stories, it wasn’t clear how to preserve them in the long term. Nothing seemed set up to become the private home of our family’s stories. We wanted something more exciting and interactive than a shared document. Social media isn’t an archive of information that is safely preserved for future family. A paper scrapbook wouldn’t be accessible by all, and would miss out on audio and video. So, in the end, we built the Simirity App.

Simirity App is a private storytelling app that unites your extended family in stories, even if you live apart.

Over time, your entire family can build an archive of digital stories, connecting family members in real-time and creating a story legacy that welcomes future family. 

Unlike printed stories or digital files that get consumed and then forgotten, stories on Simirity are woven into your daily life with Story Anniversary notifications. Imagine getting a welcome prompt reminding you of what your children did several years ago today, what you did 20 years ago, what your parents did 30 years ago, or even what your ancestors did before you were born. 

It’s a legacy that will be used regularly, help others and increase in value over time.

Introduction to the Simirity App

If you would like to learn more about the Simirity app, you can visit our home page.

Summary Of Building a Lasting Legacy

Contrary to many people’s initial reaction, a legacy is not about death; the focus is on life and living well.

We explored eight ways to leave a legacy. You don’t need to be famous, rich or super intelligent to leave a legacy. What we communicate to family, friends, colleagues and society at large, is a legacy that can have far-reaching effects.

Here are some quotes about legacies that remind us of their importance. If you are looking for some ideas of what stories to include in your family’s story legacy, check out these story prompts or this list of questions that explore your parents’ past.

What lasting legacy will your family leave behind for the next generation?

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