Hey! What’s Your Legacy?

“Use your life to create a legacy that after you’re gone, will be remembered, talked about, and of great benefit to others until the very last on this earth are no more.”

~ Nonnie Jules

Nonnie Jules is a self-published author of several books, each of which, are great reads. In addition, she is the founder and President of the international literary community Rave Reviews Book Clubwhich offers authors and readers an opportunity to share their passion for good writing and story-telling. In addition, she offers author services such as blog tours to promote authors’ books and absolutely terrific book trailers. If that wasn’t enough, Jules has a husband and two daughters to care for. I feel blessed to have Nonnie Jules as a close friend and colleague. I found this quote on her blog site “BOOKS BY NONNIE”, along with many other pearls of wisdom under “Quotes By Nonnie”.

Nonnie Jules is a person who is not afraid to say what she thinks and believes. She is also a person who cares deeply about children and the rest of humanity, in that order. She dedicates her own resources, 10-12 hours most days and mountains of energy to give a helping hand to the membership of her book club and to other authors who line up to request book reviews from her. I know that she is genuine in her desire to assist other authors on their journey to success, so I find her quotes very meaningful.

Jules encourages us to use our lives to leave a legacy that will benefit future generations. Often people will interpret the word legacy to mean a material inheritance, but clearly, this is not her meaning. The reason this quote caught my attention is because I have never looked at my life or my life’s purpose in quite this way. In recent years, I have begun to look at my life differently from how I did as a younger man. I’m no different than most people in that I would like to be remembered when I’m gone.

As I thought about a legacy, I realized that, as a writer, I’m in an excellent position to leave something meaningful behind. It is early days in my writing career and it is difficult to say exactly what will be left behind. I began with an inspirational book “A Personal Journey To The Heart Of Teaching” – a memoir about my experience in education. It was motivated by a desire to help young teachers find their way through the doubts and difficulties of getting established. It is interesting to note that one reader told me that the book’s title should be changed because it isn’t just teachers that can benefit from my journey. That has been encouraging.

After that, I changed gears and began to write a series of novels within a science fiction universe created by my friend and former student, Kenneth Tam. I enjoy writing fiction and most of my readers are enjoying these stories, but I wonder whether I should continue to write fiction or return to my roots in non-fiction. I have decided to do both. I enjoy creating stories of human drama in a futuristic society, and recently I discovered that I enjoy writing reflections about inspirational quotes, like the one you’re reading now.

Ms. Jules is talking about using our time well to leave a legacy that will live on until there is no one left to inherit and appreciate it. That is a tall order, and frankly, I find it daunting. As I explore that feeling, I realize it is misplaced because it isn’t for me to to judge the quality of what I will some day leave behind. My role, my responsibility is to use my talents, develop my skills and write whatever I’m moved to write as well as I can. The impetus to write comes from my passion, not from my rational mind. I have always recognized and accepted that I am an emotional person and I use that to guide my writing, in that I will write about that which I feel deeply.

As I continue to reflect on her words, I arrive at the conclusion that the act of living to create a legacy is truly a legacy in and of itself. I speak of the example I give by living in this fashion. If my living moves another person to live their life in the belief that it really matters to live it as well as possible, then that is a legacy of which I can be proud. If that one person moves another, who then moves another, then we have a legacy that potentially, could go on indefinitely. So perhaps, it has little to do with writing, painting, songwriting, sculpting or any other human endeavour. It’s really about the living and the loving that we exemplify in our lives. Thank you, Nonnie Jules!

About John Fioravanti

Author, John Fioravanti writes non-fiction as well as fiction in the sci-fi genre. He's a retired secondary school educator and a lifelong learner. He considers himself a work in progress and welcomes the opinions and insights that others may have about his work. He prizes dialogue about meaningful topics, so please leave your thoughts!

11 thoughts on “Hey! What’s Your Legacy?

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

    October 15, 2017 at 3:21pm

    Thought provoking post, John. The thing I’ve learned about legacy is that the credit often goes to another, either because they steal it, like Thomas Edison, or because the ways of marketing take it away from the Johnny Appleseeds and shift the focus to the “Mott’s Applesauce” producers of our world. Either way, apples and light bulbs live on.

    Those of us who plant and invent must be willing to labor and die in relative obscurity. WE may not live on in the minds of the world, but the fruits of our labors will. To my mind, that’s leaving a legacy of which we can be mighty proud.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      October 15, 2017 at 3:30pm

      I agree, Madelyn. The legacy must be about helping others – not putting ourselves in the limelight. Thanks for your kind words!

      • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

        Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        October 15, 2017 at 4:16pm

        LImelight is a young person’s objective. The “15 minutes of fame” meme highlights the futility of focusing there – for all but a few, anyway.

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

            October 15, 2017 at 5:33pm

            I pray that I will see it, and I hold it in my heart and work towards its creation, but sometimes it seems as if hopes for that better world is a delusion of grandeur (MANY days since last our elections last November, actually.)

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Nonnie Jules

    January 23, 2016 at 4:42pm

    John, no matter who you write about, it is always so informative, so uplifting and just so inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to research and share these the way you do. Thank you for always including my little quotes among the hoards of inspiring greats that you come across. I am truly, once again, #humbled. THANK YOU!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      January 27, 2016 at 4:54pm

      Thanks for your support, Nonnie. None of this would exist without your inspiration, which put me on this path. So I say, “Thank you!!”

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    January 20, 2016 at 2:44pm

    John, you are a thoughtful writer and your inspirational posts are always so interesting. I tell myself sometimes, “Oh, I’ll just glance through this post” and I can’t because I find myself wanting to read all of it, and so I do. That’s says a lot about your writing style. Some posts I can barely get through but not yours. I have also thought about leaving a legacy for my family after I started to realize that I had something to leave. I started on our family tree after writing my first book and with the help of my sister I continued the family tree legacy by adding bits of information; and I went to a family reunion before my great aunt passed away in El Cerrito, CA. Moving back to the subject matter, Nonnie will leave a legacy the whole world will know about. That is awesome!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      January 27, 2016 at 4:52pm

      How kind of you to say, Shirley! I’m very happy you are enjoying my offerings. I agree, Nonnie’s legacy will be remarkable!

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jan Hawke

    January 20, 2016 at 10:41am

    John – something that occurred to me the other day when thinking about your quote features and how it’s a similar pursuit to the passion for collecting essays on philosophy, science and the classics that ‘the gentry’ had in their libraries in the late 18th and early 19th century (you can tell I’m a Jane Austen nut! 😉 )
    Do you think you might have gone on a meandering full circle to one of your earliest callings (to the priesthood), with using your quotes to illuminate how to live life well. Just occurred to me that ‘A collection of essays’ by John Fioravanti would make for great material for preachers and teachers – what a great legacy that would be! 🙂

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      January 27, 2016 at 4:51pm

      Thank you, Jan, for your very kind words… as it happens… a collection, as you have described, is in the editing process now! Shhh!!!

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