Living Your Legacy

by | Feb 25, 2021 | ShiftHappens

As you will read in our “Changemaker of the Week” blog this week, many of us are thinking of our friend, changemaker, and advisor Paul Talliard who recently passed away. Have you had moments like this that leave you considering the idea of legacy?

When I am overcome with worry, I have a litmus test I often use. I ask myself – “Would this matter to me if I knew I had just a few days left to live?” 

I believe a universal human truth is that we all want to leave something behind when we die; we want to believe that our inimitable existence has worth and meaning beyond our time on this earth. Yet I’ve noticed that, most often, we talk about a “legacy” only after someone has passed away. 

Legacy is not something we leave, but something we live each and every day. Each morning we write the story anew, with a fresh opportunity to make our lives outlast our physical bodies. What will matter in the final estimation? What will be remembered? 

Paradoxically, I believe the “small” things count the most. The stranger you stopped to help, or the child you took time to teach. The voiceless that you spoke for, or the hungry that you fed. In the cosmic math of adding up a life, kindness and service carry exponential weight. 

I think of a song by the artist John Craigie, “Dissect the Bird,” in which he sings:

When the universe feels like it’s against you

Just take a minute to realize all it took to make you

Your parents had to meet, as random as that was

And hang out long enough at least, to make some love

And make a baby, and give it your name

And all your ancestors had to do the same

Exponentially backwards to the start of life

So much had to happen just exactly right

Sparks had to catch, oceans had to freeze

Billions of cells had to survive endless disease

Civilizations had to crumble, wars had to be fought

Bad presidents had to get elected, good presidents had to get shot

People had to leave, hearts had to get broken

People had to die so your eyes could open

The universe is not against you

It went through a lot just to give you a chance

It must have wanted you pretty bad

No pressure, though :) 

You don’t gotta be perfect

You don’t gotta be a saint

Just don’t waste it

This was not a mistake

Our opportunities to be in service are as unique as our lives themselves. Whatever good thing lies in your heart, this is your legacy. If you want to live forever, think small but serve big.

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Call for our Spanish speaking followers 👇

🐮🐷🐔🐣 ¡Te invitamos a unirte a la octava edición del Retiro de Meditación para Activistas por los Animales! 🧘🏻‍♀️ Este evento gratuito, dirigido a activistas hispanohablantes, se llevará a cabo los días 4 y 5 de mayo de 2024 a través de Zoom, y estará guiado por nuestro facilitador, Tashi Nyima.

❔ ¿Por qué participar? Sabemos que muchos activistas por los animales enfrentan desafíos emocionales que pueden afectar su capacidad para seguir adelante. 📣🆘

✅ En este retiro, aprenderás valiosas estrategias de autocuidado para fortalecer tu mundo interior y hacer que tu activismo sea más compasivo y efectivo. 🫶🏼✊🏼

INSCRIPCIONES GRATUITAS EN: https://lu.ma/retiromayo2024 

¡Ayúdanos a difundir esta invitación entre tus contactos comprometidos con la causa! 🌱💚

#activistas #animalistas #meditacion #derechosanimales #animalrights #animalactivism #heartivism
🌟 Empowering Through Play! 🌟

Nature Trust (Tamilnadu, India) launched the project, "Enhance the Skills of Children with Disabilities through Play," supported by one of our seed grants 🎉✨ Timed with World Autism Awareness Day 2024, this initiative resonates with the theme of "Empowering the Autistic Voices."

In particular, the grant allowed Nature Trust to provide specially curated play materials to 20 remarkable children with diverse disabilities. These tools were thoughtfully selected to ignite their development and unlock their potential. 🧩🎨

At the distribution event held on March 31st, the atmosphere was filled with joy as children and parents expressed gratitude for the newfound importance of play in their lives. 💖👦👧 The presence of local leaders underscored the significance of inclusive initiatives like this one.

Beyond distribution, Nature Trust volunteers engaged with the children, creating lasting connections and memories. 🤝 

Through the power of play, Nature Trust is fostering a more inclusive world where every child has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. 🌈 

Let's continue spreading joy and empowerment through play! 

#EmpowerThroughPlay #InclusiveCommunities 🌟 
#childrenwithdisabilities #autism #supportchildren #kindness #heartivism #India
It's Volunteer Month! 🌟 🌟 🌟 Today we celebrate our grant advisors working on Economic Development focus area.

By meticulously selecting projects for our seed grants, they're not just funding ideas—they're empowering communities and sparking transformative change. 

Join us in celebrating their invaluable efforts and the positive impact they're creating together!

🔸 Eric Anorrey (Ghana)
🔸 Mariam Nakiryowa (Uganda)
🔸 Jean-Marie Zihalirwa (DRC)
🔸 Emily Logiron Asekon (Kenya)
🔸 Georgia Bernbaum (USA) 
🔸 Herve Tsoala Kuete (Cameroon)
🔸 Jackson Bizimungu (Rwanda)
🔸 Okumu Dickson (Uganda)
🔸 Samuel Litunya (Kenya)

@ericanorrey 
@mayanja_mariam 
@g.bernbaum 

#volunteermonth #volunteer #heartivism #economicdevelopment #change #empoweringcommunities
The Green Earth Initiative (#Cameroon) is a project dedicated to educating and empowering students about climate change, sustainable development, and environmental challenges, that has received a seed grant from The Pollination Project in 2023. With a focus on fostering environmental protection and conservation, the initiative establishes Eco-clubs and Environment Clubs in schools, providing students with the tools to learn, engage, and take action in their communities.

Since receiving the grant from TPP, the Green Earth Initiative has expanded its reach, now encompassing 9 additional schools across two regions/cities, surpassing its initial goal of 5. 
This expansion was made possible by the overwhelming interest from school authorities and the growing number of volunteers and team members.

Through the support of TPP and other partners, the project's environmental education programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives have impacted over 8000 students in two cities of Cameroon. Additionally, the initiative has planted over 600 trees, launched 5 Environment/Eco Clubs, and distributed over 150 adapted waste bins produced from recycled plastics, contributing to proper waste management practices.

The seed grant from The Pollination Project has been instrumental in catalyzing the growth and success of the Green Earth Initiative, enabling it to make a tangible difference in the lives of students and communities, while fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability. 

@isec_cameroon 
#environmentprotection #seedgrant #heartivism #environmentaleducation