Monday, March 2, 2009
Once a week I go for a run with a buddy along our waterfront. Our route takes us past the Hollyburn Sailing Club and I remember my dad. My father founded the club in 1961 to provide teenagers an alternative to hopping freight trains and causing trouble.
The other day as I ran by I was struck by the thought that in 1961 my father was 51 years old. He had 3 kids including a newborn at home (me). He had arthritis in both of his hips, and one wrist joint fused. He also had a demanding job. All to say, my dad had more than enough excuses not to start something new. He also wasn't a prominent guy in the community. Just someone who loved sailing and decided he wanted to do something. I am not sure if he had in mind that the sailing club would endure almost 50 years, and still occupy its prominent place on the beach.
As I ran past the club I asked myself what legacy I would be leaving? What excuses do I make for not stepping out and starting something now that can benefit others in future decades?
What comes to mind immediately are my boys. I figure the best way to positively affect the future is to work to raise them the best I can, loving them, giving them a sense of the world and the confidence that they can do anything. But, they are pretty much on their way now. I have time and energy to put towards something else.
I have talked myself out of plenty of ideas because I don't believe I have the talent, influence, ability, etc., etc. Now, to reflect back on the sailing club. My dad was not a 'man of means' by any stretch. When they started they had no clubhouse, and 1 boat. He was grumpy a lot of the time, and frankly I don't even remember him really liking teenagers. None of that stopped him.
I can't believe I am going to say this but....I want to be like my dad. I want to be the guy who recognizes the need and steps up to do something about it. Everything great was started by one person. Salvation Army, Red Cross, Abolition of slavery, Sisters of Charity, Apple.
It's a good question: What is my legacy? I guess everyone has one - positive or not.