I CAN AND I WILL: Living the legacy you will leave behind

Rick Stanfield
Rick Stanfield

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese produced and narrated a documentary regarding the work and life of Fran Lebowitz.

One analogy from Ms. Lebowitz has stuck in my mind and I’ll never forget it. She told about being given a book to read by a friend. She started reading the story one evening and drifted to sleep. She put the book on the nightstand. Her friend asked her a few weeks later what she thought about the book. Fran didn’t answer and the friend said, “You hated it?” Fran replied, “Worse, I forgot I was reading it.”

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23

I think about this often. The life we’re living now is the legacy we leave behind. Whether you’re Christian, atheist, agnostic, any religion or non-religion, this is an absolute truth that cannot be argued. When you die, how do you want to be remembered? And how tragic would it be to not be remembered for anything?

When I think about my dad, I shake my head with pride over the courage he had. When I remember my friend Dana, I think about the funny things she’d say, and the loyalty she always displayed. I think often of my friend, Bill Crytes, and I automatically recall how kind and genuine he was. When I think about my cousin Bub Felts, I think about an amazing person and musician. I think of my friend Winfred Garner, and I smile. Every time I smile.

Live your life like a documentary being produced by Martin Scorsese and not like a book that is forgotten about. The good thing about legacies is that one can be made in a day. Make your book one that God smiles as he reads.

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunities you’ve given me to do good. No matter how many times I’ve messed up, today is the day that I write my best chapter. Amen.

Rick Stanfield is a columnist, motivational speaker and author. For more information, visit his website at