THE BLOG

Our Legacy

11/18/2013 12:47 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Take a moment to think about the most impactful moments in your life -- the ones that changed the fiber of your being, that informed your personality, your inner dialogue, the type of person you are or want to become or even want to be less of, the ones that saved your soul, the ones that you can recall vividly and hold close to your heart in the middle of the night in the abyss of your bed sheets. I'm going to guess they have less to do with work or money or material things and more to do with something much more noble, simple and profoundly graceful -- human connection.

In those moments where we let down our guard, either by personal choice, sacrifice, or because we can no longer keep fighting it, we allow ourselves to be changed by the infinite beauty in other people's love, support, understanding, and empathy -- when it feels like time slows, the air becomes motionless and everything around us seems to draw in, defining that moment as one we will never forget -- forever changing you, leaving fingerprints on your heart, gently like the ocean does to the shore, or undeniably, like a raging fire.

Those moments where you're both plugged in and raw are truly awe inspiring, but what gets me is how often these moments happen too for all of us without the other person knowing. That just by them being them, sharing the same space, speaking never more honest words -- it touches you. It grabs you gently by the hand or fiercely by the back of the neck -- that vulnerable place in us that so desperately wants to be taken.

I guess this is what speaks to our chemistry with one another -- that indefinable electricity some of us share; the kind that makes you feel like you're everything all at once with them -- never more alive, at home, giddy, weak in the knees maybe, supercharged and never more inspired.

In this way, we're able to remember that it's the little things that make life big.

They are the moments that creep into the crevices of our broken hearts without us really knowing, and at the same time, all at once, the moments that cradle our struggling self-esteem, that ease our nervous thoughts, that warm our cold and lonely beds, that nourish our souls, when at times feel hungry -- for something more, for something different, for something true, the moments that save us from ourselves, the moments that remind us of life's heartbreaking beauty and how fragile each moment is, that change the fabric of who we are. And the more I think about it, isn't that what our lives and our legacies to the world should be about? That we were able to truly connect, that other people were able to feel our love for them, our support of their dreams and of their choices, how much we were able to understand them and empathize with their good, their bad and their ugly?

And while I still believe in that part of us that holds an innate and burning desire to go out there and conquer the world -- to be powerfully seen, to be heard loud and clear, to bust down doors and make a difference, my real hope is that we learn to be truly connected, impactful people to one another's hearts. That even if it was just once in our lives, we were able to make someone deeply feel our love for them, that we were able to make someone laugh, to change their thinking, to let them know they were understood, that they were a little less weird than they thought, that they were beautiful, talented, perfectly complicated and unique, that they were a little less alone and much less afraid.

We all move so quickly and so superficially so much of the time that we forget our immense power in the world around us and those we choose to hold close. Simply because we are who we are, we're someone's first love, their mentor, their rock, their best friend, their everything. That's not a job to be taken lightly -- so we have to do it all with as much tenderness as you can. The wild and infinite unknown will always be there. Let's let each other be the guiding light.

I'll take your hand. Will you take mine?

That all being said, I guess my real hope for us all is that we find a path in life that at the same time serves our soul and changes others. Maybe, just maybe, that's where we're also able to find our own sense of personal fulfillment along the way.

The truth is, when it's all said and done, one day we'll all be just a memory for someone. We have to do our best to be a lovely one. A good one. An unforgettable one. An undeniable one. And that no matter what, we leave people saying that because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Think now about what legacy you will leave behind to the people that knew you. Because, all of us, we are rememberers.

Benjamin Franklin (I like the name) once said, "Either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." For now, I guess my hope is that I get to do both.