The concept of leaving a legacy is the desire to be remembered for significant
contributions to humanity and the world around one's life. In some cases, one's contribution can
be so unique that the world around becomes totally changed. Nonetheless, for humans, the
majority leave a modest impact that does not change the world but marks a traceable footprint
that those impacted by one's deeds will remember.
Leaving a legacy means putting a stamp on future generations and contributing to the
future in a way that makes one feel that their life was purposeful. According to Brody, mentoring
implies investing in future generations by sharing life experiences to evoke a renewed sense of
purpose (Brody, paragraph 2). While mentoring feel awkward for both the mentee and the
mentor, it serves a critical role for both parties for self-actualization.
The article by Brody provides critical insights into leaving a legacy being a mentor. The
author notes that mentors find genuine delight in future generations and forge friendships
founded on shared interests (Brody, paragraph 6). Notably, older persons often foster
relationships because they are curious about young persons and want to learn and share common
interests. This kind of humility opens the doors for mutual and shared learning that creates trust
critical for skills transfer and transformation.
Moreover, leaving a legacy is about blessing and affirming younger generations.
Accomplished mentors are people of wisdom and blessings rather than pointing out individual
deficiencies (Brody, paragraph 7). In most situations’ mentees do not require advice; instead, of
know what is valuable and their unique contributions to the world. Mentors can leave a legacy by
affirming younger mentees' uniqueness, identity, talents, and values.
Another critical takeaway from this article is that becoming social entrepreneurs to help
others find purpose in life calls for showing up and shutting up. Consistency and listening are
essential in fostering relationships rather than imparting sagacious advice (Brody, paragraph 5).
A social entrepreneur is aware of the resources that can be deployed for the mutual benefit of the
mentor and mentee. Older persons can leave a legacy using their skills to nurture relationships
through empathy and emotional regulation. Besides, older persons have more time than they can
dedicate to younger people, to influence their future.
This article posits that higher social engagement with future generations ensures older
persons leave a legacy in those who survive them. Higher social engagement has a range of
benefits to the well-being and longevity of older citizens (Brody, paragraph 12). Scientific
investigations reveal higher social engagements increase senior citizens' longevity as close ties
augment vitality and happiness while forestalling declines in functionality.
The author points out that a great way of securing a legacy that alleviates the pain of
knowing all lives will end at some point is by becoming a member of an intergenerational
program. Higher engagement of older adults with youthful generations provides supplemental
relief from isolation, income, and stimulation through engaging in creative and educational
activities (Brody, paragraph 15). Instead of pushing older people into disengagement from
society, society can enhance the contributions of senior citizens to impact the lives of future
In my opinion, Jane Brody presents a very insightful and relatable article for individuals
who want to leave a legacy. I concur that mentoring is among the most effective ways of leaving
a lasting impact. One way of leading a successful life in old age involves trading the comfort of
retirees for purpose and swapping retirement holdings for communities of intergenerational
interactions. Advanced ages provide a critical source of a renewed sense of purpose for senior
citizens who pursue to influence future generations. In the notion that it is more blessed to give
than receive, senior citizens can lead fulfilling old age by becoming vital assets that impact the
lives of future generations.
Brody, Jane E. "Want to Leave a Legacy? Be a Mentor (Published 2019)." The New York Times
– Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos, 2019,