“My legacy is not in my business. The legacy I leave my children is the woman I have become.”
In the last years, I have heard the topic of conversation change from self-interest to a greater emphasis on purpose and significance. Part of that conversation has focused on the idea of ‘leaving a legacy’. And it feels good. It sounds good.
It feels less like what I need to have and more like what can I leave behind for others. And there is much to like about the new conversation.
But I was still surprised by my interpretation of ‘legacy’ when meeting with Thanan, my friend and a businesswoman in Cambodia. Coming from very humble beginnings, she has established a thriving silk business, employing twenty women. It’s inspiring. So sitting at dinner I asked her if her daughter would join in her in the business. ‘No’ she answers decisively. I followed up by asking if her son would take it on? ‘No’ she again responds. I look surprised and ask, “Are you disappointed that your legacy will not continue?” She was taken aback and with barely a pause replied, “My legacy is not in my business. The legacy I leave my children is the woman I have become.”
What else needs be said?
We are kinwomen. You are our kin.