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What legacies are we leaving for those to come?

Museums are keeping in step with other areas of progress associated with the digital age. As I’ve learned, today’s museum is no longer a place just to observe walls and objects of art; it’s a place of buttons and screens where the past speaks and comes to life.

Recently we visited a museum where a former U.S. President (actually his amazing lookalike) spoke and shared his philosophy — a philosophy now over 100 years old. I was amazed at how technology, by just the push of a button, could translate me into his time and thoughts.

It was an informative meeting with this past president. He shared his goals and recited a quote that marked his life and accompanied him into the annals of history.

The experience jumped on a spiraling track in my brain. Whether we realize it or not, our speech and actions are labeling us for at least a couple of generations. What are those imprints we are making on history?

Will our kids remember us as contented, happy individuals or negative mulligrubs? Did I say more often to our kids, “Get down from that tree; you’ll fall!” than I’ve encouraged them to try their wings and enjoy adventures?

When we leave a gathering, have we left encouragement and positive thoughts or negative, critical ones? Our behavior and words are constantly creating the character that won’t necessarily be our epitaphs but will always be attached to our names.

During occasions when there’s a group of my relatives together, we inevitably begin recalling fond memories about those members that have passed on. We remember my daddy’s contagious laughter and kind, gentle heart. Surely he had those moments of anger and gloom but it was difficult recalling them because joy and kindness were his daily lifestyle.

We remember mother’s servant hands that were best demonstrated in her kitchen where she turned the ordinary into extraordinary. There’s a long list of preachers and missionaries that dined at our linen-covered, mahogany table, and left with a new definition of hospitality.

There were excellent school teachers in my childhood and a few that everyone dreaded and some who had obviously missed their calling. There have been neighbors I’ve known who mirrored the Good Samaritan and some who were more like the hurried Levite and priest.

Everyone traveling through life is making impressions, leaving legacies, molding integrity or an unhealthy reputation. They may not be displayed in museums, but they’ll still be remembered. We all leave our marks.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.