Tuesday, February 04, 2020

What Is Our Legacy?

Author Mary Higgins Clark died last week. As I thought about that, I wondered what my own legacy would be. I enjoyed her novels, as did thousands of those who read them. But although she will be remembered mainly for her more than 50 books, she was a person, not just an author.

As a physician, I was privileged to treat thousands of patients.
As a professor at a medical school and an authority on certain subjects, I had the opportunity to do a great deal of teaching--both in person throughout the world and via articles and book chapters--that had a hand in the education of many professionals.

As an author (who came late to this "second profession") I've been privileged to write things that will live on after I have gone to my reward. And, as a teacher, I've passed on the principles to others of what I've learned in this short time in that profession.

I have been blessed with the love of two wonderful women--at least twice what many men have received. I have wonderful children and grandchildren, of whom I'm inordinately proud. I enjoy watching sporting events (events in some of which I used to be a participant), and still play golf (sort of).

I have been fortunate in my ability to leave behind a legacy that will outlive me--and I hope it is a positive one. No, I don't have a fatal disease. I've just been thinking about legacies. And that brings me to a question I always asked prospective residents for our program during their interviews at the med school where I spent my last decade in practice: What would you like to be remembered for? It's something all of us should think about. If you don't know the answer, now is the time to work on it.


Priscilla Bettis said...

You're certainly leaving a wonderful legacy. I'd like to leave a few books behind, so I type away. . .

Richard Mabry said...

Unfortunately, we aren't totally sure of our legacy until after we're gone. But I try.