What is legacy? What isn't legacy? Is a Danish a donut with no hole? Listen to guest Rob Says from Robsays.net as this episode of The Safety Doc Podcast addresses agency, purpose and legacy. YOUR ANCESTORS ARE NOT YOUR LEGACY. Defining your legacy by either your ancestry or by your children is a faulted scheme. First, lineage is certainly meaningful as it offers a sense of the family crest and greater tribe, but your pedigree affords you no bragging rights. Don’t waste your time on a mail-in DNA test in hopes that you’ll discover you’re faintly related to someone famous and by some transient properties that instantly makes you a “somebody.” You’re the great, great, great, great cousin of J.D. Rockefeller – that’s handy for trivia and useless for helping anyone to learn who you are and how you are making your mark on the world. YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT YOUR LEGACY. As for children, they are frequently tagged as one’s legacy. I Googled “Children” + “My Legacy” and surfaced 838,000 results. The first was an article by Forbes titled, “Your Children Are Not Your Legacy” and the second was an article by Huffpost titled, “My Children are My Legacy.” People are autonomous and everyone has the right to a unique agency and purpose. Affixing the legacy saddle to offspring robs them of agency and purpose. I could go on, but instead, listen to the episode. MORE REASONS YOUR KIDS ARE NOT YOUR LEGACY. As written by Rob on Robsays.net, “I've seen "legacies" end up behind bars. I've seen them drink themselves to death or overdose on heroin. I've seen them join gangs. Your legacy can't be your family as far as I'm concerned because they don't owe you anything and they aren't obligated to you. They can walk out of your life legally the moment they hit the age of majority and never look back. They are autonomous beings with thoughts, feelings, and desires of their own. Give them the space to explore that without the pressure of trying to live up to your legacy.” YOUR JOB IS NOT YOUR LEGACY. A job is a means to an end. All employers and employees are interchangeable and organizations have short memories – especially for good things. As Rob notes, this isn’t an excuse to be a responsible, diligent worker. But, be cognizant of the influence your job has over what you do, how you act, what you think – that pause before you say something or do something as although it might fuel you legacy, it might not blend in with the vanilla profile embraced by the folks over in human resources. As the Internet never forgets, people, especially younger career-driven people, are measuring their expression and probably repressing their expression. Is this compatible with building your legacy? ARE WE PAYING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE ATTENTION TO OUR LEGACY? There are two ways to look at this question. When we are addicted to extrinsic feedback in the form of likes, thumbs up and digital high fives, then yes, we are paying too much attention to our legacy. It’s like we are opening the oven door every 3 minutes to check on the cake. So, as we confuse social media attention with authentic content creation, then yes, we are paying too little attention to value-added content creation such as blogs, podcasts and articles and instead snapping photos of ourselves and our possessions – all of which are the building blocks of your legacy. You are the composite of what you do, not the aggregate of what you possess. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 116.

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