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LETTER: Values are your true legacy

Clark County has a philosophical feel of agriculture.

A great deal of the citizens are related to that business, and base their wealth, voting record and expectations on land.

Many of the citizens were born during the World War II era, between 1940 and 1948. Their values come from their parents, who grew up in the Depression, and the sustainability of their families, whose income came from agricultural products or animals.

What they leave behind is their legacy. This letter has been inspired by a story in October’s “Progressive Farmer” magazine, written by Lance Woodbury.

Many may think their legacy is dependent upon physical assets, such as: the farm, equipment, livestock and other related items.

However, a true legacy has a definition of what is really important in life that creates a value, no matter where we travel.

What are your values? Are you honest? Have you taught your family members the important items of life, including good health, a fulfillment of being able to have work that is enjoyable, and provides a good income? What do you stand for, and what is the ultimate reward at the end? Are you in a position, or able to help others? Are you willing to be a mentor, and teach your children, strangers or those in need how to educate themselves to be protected in our society?

There is a saying that goes, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Are you willing to give your time to your children or grandchildren, to transfer values and love?

A legacy may be completely different in that you are helping others in need for medical reasons, or to teach a young person how to farm, how to plant crops, how to raise cattle or other livestock.

Teach these people the secrets you’ve learned over your many years.

Teach those less fortunate than you how to sustain a life that has a happy ending.

A legacy can be a good marriage, and how to love other people without being selfish.

Another part of a legacy I never think about is getting back on your feet after a detrimental event or experience. How much “heart” do you have with this spirit?

In sports, there are examples all of the time — when a team is down by so many points, and yet comes back to win the game.

How many people do you know who have had a horrible business experience, and then come back to be very successful?

Health-wise, many of us are examples of an easy life, which needs to be changed to make us healthier, and do we have the gumption to make that change?

A legacy can be created by life itself. How much risk are you willing to take? If you win, what do you win? And, if you lose, what do you lose?

Are you willing to get married, to have children, start a new occupation, make a financial investment, plant a crop, and are you willing to give thanks for those who have been of help to you?

You can’t have a good crop, unless you plant the seed.

You can’t have a good marriage, unless you are willing to compromise.

You can’t be happy in your job, unless you know that it is important to provide either a product or a service.

These are all legacies for yourself, your family and your friends.

What will society think of you after you are gone?

Ben Kaufmann

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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