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What Do You Want Your Legacy to Be?

Updated on June 25, 2020
Paul Kuehn profile image

Life has been a great teacher for me. I have learned more from my various jobs and experiences with people than from books.

Historical Legacy

A California Ghost Town
A California Ghost Town | Source

Leaving a Legacy for Descendants and History

Since no one lives forever and everybody must die, there is no sense in worrying about death. Most people and especially older folk are more worried about their legacy or how they will be remembered after passing away.

On the occasion of my high school 50th-year reunion, classmates were asked what they wanted to be remembered for. Surprisingly, the majority of the 30 attendees said that they primarily wanted to be remembered as a good husband or wife, father or mother, and grandfather or grandmother. I hope that my descendants and future generations will recall my legacy of good character, family values, teaching and learning, federal government service, and writing.

In this article, I first define legacy and then share more in detail what I want my legacy to be for descendants and history.

What Is a Legacy?

In general, a legacy has two primary meanings. If we are talking about property law, it refers to a gift of the property passed on after a person's death. Another important meaning refers to a record or account of what an individual achieved during his or her life. This is commonly referred to as a historical legacy that is immaterial in contrast to a monetary or property legacy.

Although I will pass on a property legacy, this article is concerned about what I want my historical legacy to be.

A Good Family Man

After I am laid to rest, I want my children, grandchildren, and future generations to remember me as a good family man possessing admirable moral virtues. These virtues would include love, kindness, compassion, honesty, hard work, justice, and generosity.

I also hope that my friends and acquaintances, their descendants, and others will regard Paul Richard Kuehn as an honest man who never cheated anyone. More importantly, people will remember me as a generous, kind, hard-working, and compassionate man who never hesitated to help anyone, and who contributed to society.

A Good Family Man

My wife and granddaughter are in this photo with me,
My wife and granddaughter are in this photo with me, | Source

A Good Citizen

People must remember me as a patriot who loved and served his country. This was manifested first through military service for almost four years and then through almost thirty years of federal government work.

I want to be remembered as a Chinese linguist in the United States Navy who served on overseas bases in Taiwan and Japan during the Cold War in the late 1960s.

Hopefully, my nearly 30 years of service with the federal government as a Chinese translator and Chinese language instructor will be respected and appreciated.

While working for the federal government, I hope that my efforts during the 1980s played a small part in helping the United States win the Cold War.

A Patriotic Citizen

Taken in 1967
Taken in 1967 | Source

An Excellent Teacher and Student

Although it took me nearly 30 years to find a calling as a teacher, I have been involved in education for most of my life.

First, I hope people remember and appreciate my efforts in teaching English as a foreign language to Chinese and Taiwanese in Taiwan in the 1970s. When I stopped teaching in July of 1979, I was quite successful and running my language teaching service.

Second, while working for the federal government, I taught Chinese Mandarin listening and reading skills to government employees for two years in the 1990s.

Finally, I realized my dream by teaching English as a foreign language in Thailand public and private schools for almost seven years after I retired from government service. I was recognized as an excellent teacher who inspired students to pursue advanced study in English.

As a student, I want to be remembered as a linguist who learned many languages and became quite proficient in Chinese Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Thai.

An Excellent Teacher

Picture Taken in 2009
Picture Taken in 2009 | Source

As a Writer

Since 2011, I have been writing articles on Hubpages and a few other Internet sites. Presently, I have written more than 260 hubs or articles on various topics. The majority of my articles are on teaching English as a foreign language in Thailand and other educational issues. I also have written articles on my experiences in learning languages. Hopefully, my writing will be a legacy that will last a long time. It is my wish that my writing will be useful to society and also inspire people to teach and learn languages as well as acquiring moral values.

As a Writer

As a writer in 2014
As a writer in 2014 | Source


What do you want your legacy to be?

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Nobody likes to be forgotten after their death. By building up a legacy while still alive, chances are that you will be remembered and appreciated long after passing away.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Paul Richard Kuehn


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    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      @Jodah, I appreciate your comments on this hub. The older I get, the more I realize that I am running out of time to better my legacy.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very good hub on an important topic. A historical legacy is often the most valuable thing we can leave behind to be remembered by. I would liked to be remembered as a good father, grandfather and husband, someone with very strong morals and who tried to do what was right. I would also hope that people remember me through my writing and that I touched someone with my words.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Paula, I am very happy to know that you think I have earned a stellar legacy. I am trying to improve it before I leave this world. I also wish you a very happy 2016 with peace, health, and happiness!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      4 years ago from Carson City

      Paul.....It takes me a lot longer these days to stumble upon the hubs of some of my favorite HP writers, due to spending much less time on our site than I have in the past. I'm definitely glad I finally found this wonderful article.

      Agreeing with others here, I have no doubt that your legacy will be precisely what you hope. You have quite obviously earned a stellar legacy and will be remembered with fondness, admiration & respect.

      Thank you for encouraging me to contemplate. It can be an enormous comfort to believe that especially our loved ones will smile & feel pride as they remember our life story. "Happy New Year," to you & yours, Paul. Peace, Paula

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your compliments, rajan. I'm hoping to improve my legacy before I leave this world. What online sites are you now writing on? I have been on Persona Paper and just got onto Mylot.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      You have a rich legacy that you are leaving behind, Paul. Your descendants will surely be proud of it.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Yes, Mary, being remembered with love is the most important thing of a legacy! I'm extremely pleased that you found this hub useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Au fait, how can people not be impressed and remember all of your awesome Hubpages articles? I don't think making tons of money is really that essential for a good legacy. What about Mother Theresa who did all of the volunteer work in India? Thanks for voting up, pinning, and sharing with followers!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      I agree with Au fait, your legacy is already cemented. Your good works are obvious in all that you did throughout your life. I'm sure your wife and family could add more too! You will be remembered with love and that my friend is most important of all.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Paul, I feel certain your legacy is set and safe.

      Very few people know anything about my accomplishments, and those who are aware of one or more of them aren't impressed. I haven't made tons of money and that's what really counts. I don't expect anyone will remember me, but if they do, I'm sure it will be all the negative things they attribute to me -- all the ways I'm not perfect like them, and all the advice they gave me that I didn't follow. That will remain uppermost in their minds. But most of them are much older than myself, so it may not be them doing the remembering . . . :)

      Voted up and interesting, pinned to Awesome HubPages and shared with followers

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for your praise of this article! I'm sure you will leave something positive behind in your writings.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      If you work at it, I'm sure you will be known for being a strong and courageous woman. I'm happy you liked this hub. Thanks for the sharing and voting up!

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I only regret not thinking more about this legacy when I was younger.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful article. I often worry about my legacy. I do so want to leave something positive behind.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image


      5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, shared, voted up, and more. When I depart this world, I want to be known for being a strong and courageous woman. To me this would be a great honor.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hopefully you do leave the legacy that you desire!


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