Meg Newhouse has written a thoughtful book on how to live our lives so that our world is a better place when we move on to whatever the next reality may be. Our legacy, she says, is the imprint of our lives that endures in some form. She begins with a consideration of how we were and are shaped by those who precede us.
Part of our legacy is how our ancestors lived their lives, but part is also genetic and could be how we were named. What did our antecedents wish for themselves? What did they wish for us? How has that influenced who we are, both positively and negatively? We can respond to our legacies in different ways: pass them on, change them, or transmute them. We have choices.
It is in later life that we often feel it is time to look back, to review and to sum up, to tell our stories. According to one study, children benefit substantially from hearing and knowing family stories. Newhouse continues, stressing that who we are and what we do may well influence those whom we do not know.
[D]ispersing seeds from our legacies of the heart will add beauty and be valued wherever and whenever they should land, take root, blossom and disperse again... our biggest legacy task today is to restore multi-generation and interdependence perspectives.
Each section contains questions for reflection or writing. She concludes with six keys to legacy living, and several useful appendices. Well written and a fine addition to the literature of conscious aging and life review.
Read an excerpt from this book.
Meg Newhouse, Ph.D. is an independent educator, career and life coach, a consultant & author. Meg has helped plan five Positive Aging conferences and has written three how-to books. She lives in the Boston area. Visit her website.
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