In a modern era where the struggle to survive has been replaced with a struggle to achieve, the simple but important act of passing our surname to our children seems an insufficient legacy when compared to the large and expensive monuments named for rich industrialists, or scientific discoveries attributed to great scientific minds.
Whether we are willing to admit it, being respected and feeling important are as significant as being wanted and loved. Likewise, as much as we want to be respected in life, we want to be remembered fondly in death.
Great business men like Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller spent the first half of their lives amassing large amounts of money and the second half of their lives giving it away to charities. These philanthropic gifts of genuine generosity are seasoned with a hint of historical self-aggrandizement.
For people of lesser financial means or scientific ingenuity, the chance of having a wing of a hospital named in honour of them remains small. But, this should not discourage anyone from trying to make a lasting difference in our world, or revel in the contributions they have made to these ends.
A practical look at our lives demonstrates we are leaving a legacy that celebrates many of our best accomplishments and in fact glorifies the wishes and accomplishments of every generation before us.