Celebrate Your Family Legacy, part 1

(Best of Celebrating Your Journey – December 23, 2011)

To all my readers: With 2019, the 14th year of my Celebrating Your Journey blog articles, “From the Heart” byline, I will be offering the “Best of the Best” articles you found helpful through the years. Many thanks to everyone who have given input and followed along w/ each month’s lifeskill—Relationships/Core Values, Time Mgt, Career/Money Mgt, Recordkeeping, Possessions, Housekeeping, Wellness, Meals, Childcare, Recreation/ Entertainment, Reflection, and Celebration. For my new readers, may these lifeskill articles offer you encouragement, insight, and commitment to seek, reach, and achieve your life dreams and goals in synergy.

As you gather all your photos together and childhood treasures to scrapbook and box them for lasting memories, there are other ways to celebrate your family’s heritage. Beside the simple and high-tech ways, here are some additional creative suggestions (formerly offered by Kimberly Powell, http://genealogy.about.com).

First, get started tracing your family tree; then start your own family cookbook; record family stories; uncover your family health history; take a trip back in time by visiting sites of importance to your family (e.g. your old family homestead, the country from which your ancestors migrated, the hillside where you played as a child, or the cemetery where great-grandpa is buried. If none match, then consider a trip to an historical museum, battlefield, or re-enactment event that relates to the history of your family.); craft a heritage gift (e.g. from picture frame Christmas ornaments to heritage quilts); and create an annual family picture calendar using your computer.

Your family heritage is wonderful to celebrate. Yet, contributing to the lives of others goes a long way toward preserving your legacy for your community and across our nation. There are many ways to contribute. There are also many life arenas you can impact throughout your life and legacy.

As you celebrate the holidays and the gift of giving, consider how you can make all the difference in everyone’s lives. There are approximately eleven life arenas to share your legacy.

The first six are:

I. BASIC CORE VALUES & PRINCIPLES: Organizations that support your core values and life principles.

II. HOME/FAMILY/VALUES: Organizations that encourage and support the family, home, and core human values.

III. RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS/ CHURCH/MISSIONS: Organizations that support your faith and desire for outreach to humanity.

IV. HISTORY/WESTERN CULTURE: Organizations that support your values and principles in global human affairs and lessons of history.

V. PUBLIC POLICY/DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Organizations supporting human justice and compassion in legislation, domestic policy, and international relations.

VI. SCIENCE/MEDICINE: Organizations that seek truth in our universe and life on earth; observe and understand the natural world from a scientific and spiritual perspective. Be cautious about certain perspectives that may have extreme views and inappropriately discount the faith dimensions, credible scientific discoveries, and the principles of macro- and micro- adaptation.

Plan your giving in each arena into your core values, life goals, career, budget, and friendships. Benevolence and giving are genuine expressions of compassion and love to humanity. Whether you contribute time, money, materials, or message, there are individuals in your neighborhood and around the world that need your help. The heart-felt rewards of giving are far beyond the gift itself.

Experience the joy and satisfaction of helping humanity in your own community and across the oceans. You may be surprised at how many ways you do give already. Feel free to email me and request the related handout to list the ways you are currently giving and want to give in the future whether to individuals, organizations, institutions, ministries, and churches. It is important to investigate each work for its integrity and stability before supporting that person or organization.

Remember, there are many creative ways to give and show benevolence (e.g. purchase of materials to publications, giving goods and materials, tax and estate plan¬ning, money gifts, time and effort). Be creative in every life arena. The next article for December will cover the other five life arenas for benevolence and giving. In the meantime, have a very creative, appreciative, and abundant Christmas and New Year!