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“What Will Your Legacy Be?” by Mary Radu, MS, MSW, CPCC


President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, was recently quoted as saying “never waste the opportunity that a crisis brings to the table.”  Leaders during earlier world crises challenged us to come together with strength and conviction to lift ourselves up along with helping our fellow world citizens who are in need.

This recession is our generation’s “BIG bump in the road”. As Emanuel suggests, it offers the opportunity to reassess our direction, what’s truly important for each of our life’s and how we can get there. We can be another “Great Generation”, if each of us carefully weighing the choices before us. The challenges are greatest for those who have suffered the loss of a job, a home, health and a good amount of retirement investments. Yet for those of us who have more resources intact, we can seize the moment and chose meaningfully steps to help those around us to get through this time with less distress.

Seize the Moment

“When people speak of the powerful feelings that motivate them to give back, I hear a common story about deep alignment of personal convictions with community purpose. Applying ones knowledge and skills becomes irresistible, and there’s a sense of acute purpose that stretches far beyond one’s individual interests. It’s a kind of energy and being, a certain slant of light that for me is the meaning of philanthropy.”

Peter Karoof, founder The Philanthropy Institute and
2006 Purpose Prize Winner*, Civic Venture
Take the Legacy Challenge!

Ten years from now what will you be able to say about yourself and how you reacted to this time in history? My challenge to each of you reading this is to set a time within the next week to make your 2009 Legacy Action Plan. Look inside of yourself and inventory what resources you have big or small, that could be significant to someone that you can share right now, this day or this week. Put on your creativity hat and open your heart. Do this with other family members, including your children or with a friend. You’ll be creating a shared legacy that you will look back on with honor. Here’s just a few possibilities to get you started:

  • Set your Internet browser on www.searchandgive.com and give a penny each time you do an internet search to a charity of your choice,. 
  • Donate extra or unused items to a local family or cause.
  • Offer your time and skill to a neighbor or local agency that will help meet a need they are struggling to fill due to reduced resources.
  • Call someone you know who has experienced a loss during this time and say “I’m here to listen or brainstorm”.
  • If you haven’t identified charities in your will, do it now. Consider including a charity as a beneficiary to your life insurance policy.
  • Set up a donor-advised charity fund that would give you tax breaks now and help a cause or population that is currently at risk. You can do this with very small sums of money!
  • Check here for more options on the Pathmaker Resource Page.

Make 2009 the year that you will proudly tell future generations was the time, “I made the best choices I could and I helped others along the way”

Positive Change Coach and Philanthropy Mentor, Mary Radu, guides midlife individuals and couples to discover how to share their unique gifts and resources and get into action. If you’re a professional or entrepreneur who craves to have a bigger impact in the world, and make your life AND this planet a better place to live, you need to activate your intentions. Design and execute your unique path, aligning your life with your passions and values.

Find resources at www.pathmakercoaching.com/resources/index.html, or contact Mary mary@pathmakercoaching.com . (707) 824-8836

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