Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Legacy We Leave Behind

Wednesday was a tragic day in the Tyson household as Mike's young daughter Exodus died from her injuries. A lot of news outlets covered the story, and a number of them chose to air footage of the Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield ear-biting incident, and on Twitter I noticed a number of people criticizing that choice. Everyone makes mistakes, its true, but now more than ever before, we have to start thinking about what we want to be remembered for. With so many teens today taking sex and exhibitionism so lightly, and people like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton glorifying the art of the 'leaked' sextape, this generation is heading down a dangerous path. When you make mistakes in life, its your responsibility to re-invent yourself, and not become defined by those missteps. If Mike Tyson had spent the last few years as a philanthropist, trying to do good things for the community, then I doubt the sensationalism would have been so extreme. Think about it- when you hear the name Vanessa Williams, isn't the nude scandal about the very last thing you remember about her?
My hope for young(er) people is that they start thinking hard about what they want to be remembered for, and begin to live that legacy now. Take down your drunken, naked Facebook and MySpace photos. Don't use profanity as a communication tool. Pull yourself together, and realize that you can have a fantastic time while still holding yourself in high esteem. And when you do stumble, as we all do and will, pick yourself, dust yourself off, and promptly create a new and better memory. Ask yourself periodically- if I died today, would I be happy with what I'd be remembered for?

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