Ask Mr. Manners


I recently visited my best friend in NYC, and after seeing the closing night performance of The Boys in the Band, our discussion centered on how one goes about leaving a legacy. During the show, each of the characters had a defining moment where we as the audience had a mere glimpse into what would potentially be their legacy or lack thereof. As gay people, we get to choose our families, and that can play a vital role as we work to leave something meaningful for those we love.

The idea of leaving a legacy is the need or the desire of remembrance for what you have contributed to the world. In some cases, that contribution can be so extraordinary that it unalterably changes the universe. However, for most mere mortals walking this earth, they will leave a more modest legacy that doesn’t necessarily change the world but does leave a lasting footprint.

You hope your life matters in some way. I know I do. I have spent my life doing things that small-minded people claim to be impossible. Every time I chased a dream, I tried to leave a path for others denying the nay-sayers to follow. When you review your life’s journey, several ideas may come to mind: Did you grow and perhaps transform your life, make changes when you needed to, find your truth, inspire others, become a leader or influence others? Touching lives and exemplifying a correct path is paramount to living a joyful and purposeful life. Your legacy will live on.

Your passions are your legacy. Passion comes from an outpouring of the interests and ideas that make a difference in your life. Finding and pursuing your passion allows you to see your destiny. That’s what happened to me with yoga and dancing tango. I can attest that life won’t be any fun if you don’t pursue your passions to the fullest. It’s contagious. It’s religious. And don’t miss the opportunity to pursue your passions and then continue to look for new adventures. While you may never be revered in the eyes of the world, the adventures you experienced lives on with those who witnessed you living your destiny.

Leaving a legacy is an essential part of your life’s work. A legacy develops from a life dedicated to self-reflection and purpose. A truthful and value-driven body of living is revealed and endured. So what does all this mean? It means to be bold and fearless — not limiting yourself. Now, the time has come to ask yourself, “What will be my legacy?”

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