My core values and beliefs; my personality blue print if you will; is what drives the decisions I make today. Those decisions have impact in the world in which I live. The resulting residue that lingers long after I am gone will be my legacy. When I speak of Legacy, I am not speaking of a narcissistic need for the remembrance of my existence. Rather I am thinking of what benefit have my decisions made to the community and earth which I am a part of.
I got to thinking about legacy in my Kung Fu. On further thought I have begun to realize the impact that training has on core values, and since that seems to be the driving force behind decision making, it makes one think if training is going to provide a legacy in which I can be proud.
Action without contemplation is ignorance. With that in mind I am pleased to say that the years I have trained in Kung Fu were not mindless, but a continuous evaluation and reflection which always resulted in insurmountable reason to continue. Many of those reasons are the core values that training honed, include confidence, work ethic, control, and most importantly awareness.
In that awareness, I then recognize that what makes our lives great is the result of the legacy of past generations. Clean air and water, morality and stewardship for example. Perhaps it is due to a sense of gratitude to our forefathers, or an obligation to future generations, but I would say that the greatest driving force to wanting to make a positive influence is more self-serving than that. I think it is mostly the gratification of a positive accomplishment that drives those good decisions.
A person toiling to build the pyramids, may have had little enjoyment out of life, but left a remarkable legacy. On the other hand, how many lives of great joy and utter fulfilment have come and gone with very little impact to the future world.
When I got to thinking about this, I realized that a very fulfilling life indeed is one that lives in the moment, and enjoys what has been given to us through the legacy of past generations, AND, receives the gratification and accomplishment from a legacy they can be proud of.
While I flew off on a bit of a tangent there I want to get back to Legacy and our Kung Fu. Recognize that what we do in the I Ho Chuan; from the demonstrations that display hard work, commitment and mastery, to the way we live our lives as stewards to the community and environment are making an impact and leaving a very, very positive legacy. That legacy, and an awareness of the gifts in this life with which we are given, makes life truly awesome indeed.