What's Your Legacy?
/ Author: John Kamphof
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What's Your Legacy?

By John Kamphof, National Board President

As mentioned in an earlier blog, I have reached the Biblical life expectancy of three score and ten—or seventy-one, actually. I am now on bonus time.

Since reaching this milestone, I have been reflecting on my life. What would I have done differently? If I could do it again knowing what I know now, would I change anything?

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. Overall, I’m content with how my life has gone, and there are not many things I would change. I have had the opportunity to work various jobs—from cutting down trees, managing an egg factory, working in a paper mill, and retail sales, to running a drop-in centre for street people, teaching high school, and spending the last thirty-five years of my life as a CLAC representative.

I’ve also had the opportunity to serve in various capacities as president and chair of a number of school and church boards, as well as university boards. I am happily married to my best friend and the love of my life for over forty-six years and we have what I am most proud of: three amazing and talented sons. I’ve been blessed with a rich and full life.

So what will be my legacy as I near my end? I hope it will be that I have been able to serve—that my life was not so much about what I wanted as much as doing what was needed. In my work as a union representative, I hope that my legacy will be that I served and made the lives of those I served better. In my role as a leader, I hope that I was able to encourage and enable those I led to flourish. As a dad, I hope that my lessons—that how the game was played was more important than winning—has shaped the lives of my kids. In my role as a husband, I hope that I was able to be a partner, sharing in the challenges and joys we faced.

You see, my life was not so much about me as it was about being of service to others. What makes me very proud is that in a number of situations, I was asked to provide leadership and a calm presence when things were broken.

But what I’m most proud of are my kids. They’re my legacy. Not because I was such a great dad, but because they too seek to serve, they each desire to leave the world a better place than how they found it. Not a bad way to be remembered.

To those facing retirement, I’d encourage you to look back on your life and consider your legacy. Hopefully you’ll find some things to be proud of, too.

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