Hooray! It's over! You probably know what I'm talking about, even as I pound on the old Underwood Friday morning. Maybe, now that the votes have been counted, we can all take a deep breath and get back into a somewhat normal lifestyle. But don't hold that breath too long. Just think, the wheels for the 2020 election are already starting to spin. Let's hope four years from now will be a little more sensible than this election has been.
When I started this 'cuff, I was primed to vent some feelings about what has muddled our lives for so many months. But after a few paragraphs, thankfully, I ripped the sheet of paper out of the old stand-by and here goes again. I won't guarantee what direction I will follow.
I will admit that a word I've heard several times during the past few months is preying on my mind. The word? Legacy.
A couple of days ago, plastered on the screen of the boob tube were a few words attributed to our present president as he campaigned for Hillary. I wrote down the words attributed to him. "My name is not on the ballot. But my legacy is on the ballot." It reminded me that in recent weeks his legacy had been mentioned by numerous commentators.
Legacy. My interest was piqued. Just what is legacy? I pulled out an old Webster's collegiate dictionary that muddled my thoughts even more with its two sentence definition -- one not at all what I expected. It read: "A gift by will, especially money or other personal property. Bequest; something received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past." That was it. My idea of legacy was clouded so I turned to another source.
I enjoy working crossword puzzles; at least I try to work them. However, at my right hand, always handy to flip open, is the newest Webster's crossword puzzle dictionary. I flipped open to page 761 and here's what were given as possible clue words: "gift, devise, trust, estate, bequest, heirloom, heritage, endowment, patrimony, tradition, birthright, benefaction, inheritance." All simple words that completely clouded my perception of what legacy would mean to a baseball player, a teacher, a pastor, a typewriter pounder and, yes, a politician -- even the President of the United States.
What does legacy mean to you? What does it mean to me? What does it mean to ... fill in any name you wish?
I flipped over to Google and there were dozens of answers for the word. The one that finally began to throw a little light on the subject: "Legacy is fundamental to what it is to be human. Research shows that without a sense of working to create a legacy ... adults lose a meaning in their life." It continued: "A legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. A historical legacy can be counted in later times as a good thing or bad."
That puts the monkey on every person's back: What am I making of my life? What? What?
I guess we are all driven, or should be, to live our lives as a positive addition to humanity, however much or little we are involved with it. I guess again that is what drives politicians to do and say and act the way they do. I wonder what history will write about the election that just occurred?
I reread that statement attributed to our president. I wondered when it was uttered. So I did a little more Googling which provided information that President Obama was speaking to the Black Caucus on Capitol Hill on September 16, where he was urging his African-American listeners to turn out and vote for Hillary. Here is his quote: "I will consider it a personal insult -- an insult to my legacy -- if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in the election. You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote."
The only thought that came to me topping his support, and urging votes for his former Secretary of State, was his interest in preserving his legacy. Aren't we sometimes just a little guilty of spreading the message a little too thin with a blob of personal interest mixed in? There are times when we just can't stop being human, being politically correct.
Political correctness is such the rage in our culture in today's world. I wonder what would happen if everyone, for even one day, would forget being politically correct and then really mean it as we say what our founding fathers stressed, much to the consternation of today's know-it-alls: "God Bless America." A real legacy.
Dodie Evans is the former owner and long-time editor of the Gravette News Herald. Opinions expressed are those of the author.General News on 11/09/2016
Print Headline: A three word legacy