Friday, 5 February 2010

Leaving a legacy

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a tai chi teacher is the moment when an advanced student of yours starts to pass your lessons on to beginners. It is such a delight to see that they have taken on your training, and have managed to translate it into concepts and points of reference that they understand.

Watching this happen recently with one of my senior students has reaffirmed my belief that leaving a positive legacy is a valuable thing to try to do. The Ancient Romans new the power of a legacy. They believed that a person did not truly die until they were forgotten by those who they knew in life. So they had a paradigm that encouraged the leaving of a positive legacy. Conversely, many Taoists in China believe that the grieving process keeps the spirit attached to the griever. So they like to leave positive feelings with their relatives so that they will not grieve for long and allow their spirit to cross over.

So why is a positive legacy so important if you are not going to live to benefit from it? Having a clear view about how people will think about you after your death extends your paradigm beyond the present. By doing this, you broaden your outlook beyond the temporary needs of body and other material considerations. This wider view will also put any present problems you have into a lesser context.

So what kind of legacy do you want to leave? What kind of person do you want people to say you were?

1 comment:

chris Bennett said...

Leaving a legacy in Tai Chi is very important if the art is to progress.

It's also an act of responsibility for all those who have benefited from Tai Chi; help others to also benefit.

My kind of legacy? 'He did the right thing. He introduced Tai Chi to as many children and adults as possible.'