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David Hegg: Life and legacy

Posted: May 18, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 18, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

In my little world I often hear guys musing about their legacy.

They wonder how they will be remembered, what lasting impressions they will leave on the world, and if the things they started will continue.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of hearing these discussions, and even more tired of folks asking me what I think my legacy will be.

In the first place, questions about legacy almost always come from those who look at us old folks as though we were ready to be put out to pasture. Is the subject of legacy something you young folks bring up hoping to be polite as you insinuate that we seasoned folks should step aside?

Well, we’re not going anyplace yet ... just so you know. We’re sticking around until we’re fresh out of value, and you’re ready to take over.

We think you’re great, and will be better than we’ve been, but only if you learn a few things before it’s your turn.

But the greater problem with this thing called legacy is that it is just a stupid idea. Any energy expended now in order to make sure those we leave behind have an emotional monument in their hearts to our memory is both selfish and wasteful.

With so much to be done in the here and now, we would be wise to do what we can today and let the future take care of itself.

Yesterday is a canceled check, and tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is cash and we’d better spend it with as much vigor and courage as possible.

I have seen those worried about their legacy shy away from hard decisions, opt not to take on important challenges, and even forsake people and positions they once held dear.

Like too many political leaders, they test the prevailing winds of public opinion and plot their course accordingly.

After all, they have to protect their legacy.

This dreadful, soul-diminishing disease of “legacyitis” seems to be almost epidemic today. Too many are living today in a way they think will make them memorable tomorrow.

They are more focused on what people will think when they’re gone, than on their character and accomplishments today.

We would do well to take a page from the life of an 18th century German count named Nicolas Zinzendorf. Born in 1700 in Dresden to one of the most influential families in Europe, he went on to become a religious leader in the Moravian movement.

Among other things, many of his followers determined to sell themselves as slaves in order to bring the message of Jesus to the many victimized by the human slave trade.

They also organized an amazing prayer vigil that continued, 24 hours a day, for over 100 years.

With all that this great man did, he never considered his legacy something that needed to be planned for or even considered.

One of his many poignant quotes aptly and succinctly expressed his heart. “Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten.”

He poured his life into his work, adding challenge after challenge without considering how success or failure would be remembered. As a result, we remember him with great admiration, and seek to model his passions and priorities.

So, if you and I are truly interested in leaving a legacy, the best thing you can do is forget about building it and concentrate on living a life that is worth remembering.

Be a noble, ethical, and loving person. Do things well, and have something valuable to say. Ground your life in truth, prize your integrity, and build strong, healthy relationships.

Love God and love your neighbor, and rest in the fact that your legacy won’t matter then if your life doesn’t matter now.

 

Comments

ricketzz: Posted: May 18, 2014 6:48 a.m.

"If you are worried about how important you are [and how you'll be remembered], punch your fist into a bucket of water and see how big a hole you leave" -Jimmy Dean, entertainer, sausage magnate


stevehw: Posted: May 18, 2014 11:26 a.m.

Apparently, Hegg isn't concerned about leaving a legacy of discrimination towards others.


chefgirl358: Posted: May 18, 2014 7:42 p.m.

Well I think a lot of people have made our lives better by purposely leaving a legacy...things like museums, libraries, botanical gardens, forests, open space, nature preserves, things like Carol House, or various other organizations to help sick, poor, elderly, and young.

I could go on and on but philanthropic people leaving legacies have truly made a difference in our societies and lives. Who cares why they did it, just be glad there are people like that. I'm glad they aren't all like Hegg.


ricketzz: Posted: May 19, 2014 6:49 a.m.

When we had socially responsible taxation we got philanthropy out of the obscenely wealthy before they died. Better companies, too.


17trillion: Posted: May 19, 2014 10:45 a.m.

There goes ol Steve pissing his pants again about people discriminating against others as he discriminates against others. Doesn't the left ever see the hypocrisy and idiocy of their own positions? When did being a liberal mean you have to conform or else? When did being a liberal mean you get to spew about tolerance while ignoring the concept in your own life? When did being a liberal allow you to whine and moan like an infant whenever someone didn't agree with the liberal orthodoxy?


AlwaysRight: Posted: May 19, 2014 10:45 a.m.

You are all missing the point. Pastor Hegg is saying that a "legacy" builds itself and that we don't need to worry about creating it.

Name any of the great philanthropists who built a legacy in the 1400's...
Time washes away most legacies and memories. So, don't focus on these things.


stevehw: Posted: May 19, 2014 2:34 p.m.

Boy, must have struck a nerve with ol 17 there. I hardly call a one-sentence statement about someone leaving a legacy of discrimination "pissing my pants" or "hypocrisy and idiocy".

Tell me...Hegg runs a church which opposes equal rights *under law* for some people, correct? I think that's a simple statement of fact. So he is, in fact, creating his own legacy of discrimination. If, and it's a big if, he's remembered long after his death, it'll be at least partly because he opposed other people being treated equally under the Constitution and the law.

So hardly "spewing about tolerance while ignoring the concept in [my] own life", I was quite simply pointing out what the author's legacy is likely to be...

When did being a conservative "allow" you to berate and belittle and denigrate others and make hyperbolic statements and strawmen about them whenever they don't agree with *your* *conservative* orthodoxy?

Ironic, isn't it? You're doing the very thing you are accusing me of in this thread.


AlwaysRight: Posted: May 19, 2014 2:47 p.m.

Ummm, no, Steve. Once again, you are missing the point. Hegg is making a simple and eloquent point: legacy building is not an exercise which we should practice. It detracts from the things we should be focused on. Makes perfect sense.

You seem to be intent on defining other people's legacies. Rather odd. What will people say about you when you die? What is your legacy? How do you change the world for the better?

Ah. There's the rub.


17trillion: Posted: May 19, 2014 2:51 p.m.

You're complaining about people discriminating as you discriminate. That is the legacy of the left! Only YOU are allowed to discriminate and you people do it all the time.

Some people have an issue with gays Steve and some people don't think the institution of marriage, which has been around for thousands of years, needs to be warped to satisfy your ridiculous sense of entitlement. Some people think there is something wrong with homosexuality and while I don't have any issues with it including them getting married, the laws of nature does lend itself to some possible credence in their beliefs on such matters.

By the way, where is your outrage on Islam? Hegg thinks it's wrong but I don't see him advocating death by stoning? Oh yea, I forgot the left is far to squishy to ever critique the religion of peace.


therightstuff: Posted: May 19, 2014 4:01 p.m.

"""Apparently, Hegg isn't concerned about leaving a legacy of discrimination towards others."""

In who's eyes? Christians have been called much worse. In this age of poll-driven morality, I admire any pastor who will stand by his biblical values rather than fold because he's afraid of the names others will call him. No Steve, Pastor Hegg isn't concerned about what kind of legacy he will leave in your eyes. He answers to a much higher power.


stevehw: Posted: May 19, 2014 4:02 p.m.

All you need is Bigot Baker to chime in now and you'll have the virtual perfect storm of religious zealotry.


therightstuff: Posted: May 19, 2014 5:16 p.m.

Bigot Baker? Just remember how you lecture us about what it means when you resort to calling people names in a debate.

In your eyes, Steve, a Sunday School picnic is religious zealotry. Sell it to someone who cares.


stevehw: Posted: May 19, 2014 6:36 p.m.

Sauce for the gander.


ricketzz: Posted: May 20, 2014 7:15 a.m.

What about the legacy of the collective "we"? What are we as a society going to be remembered for? Will we be revered or reviled? Will we be called the "Paralyzed With Fear" generation? The "Bin Laden Won" generation? The "Age of Propaganda and Loathing" generation? Because that's what I'm seein'


Indy: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:18 p.m.

Therightstuff wrote: """Apparently, Hegg isn't concerned about leaving a legacy of discrimination towards others."""

In who's eyes? Christians have been called much worse. In this age of poll-driven morality, I admire any pastor who will stand by his biblical values rather than fold because he's afraid of the names others will call him. No Steve, Pastor Hegg isn't concerned about what kind of legacy he will leave in your eyes. He answers to a much higher power.

Indy: Well, ‘here on earth’, Hegg is ‘free’ to promote his religious beliefs but likewise will be held accountable to the consequences of same.

We saw this last year when held was telling Americans who use safety net ‘entitlements’ that they weren’t worthy of such help . . .

As long as Hegg stays within the knowledge he’s qualified to present, he’s good to go . . . but when he strays into the areas of economics and uses his ‘faith’ to support same, he’s going to be held accountable.

Just as we saw religious conservatives in congress citing ‘biblical scripture’ to address cutting food stamps from poor people, Hegg has to be careful not to wonder into areas he’s unqualified to discuss.


Indy: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:24 p.m.

17trillion wrote: Some people have an issue with gays Steve and some people don't think the institution of marriage, which has been around for thousands of years, needs to be warped to satisfy your ridiculous sense of entitlement.

Indy: This may come as a shock to you but religious conservatives don’t call the ‘moral’ shots on marriage per se.

Likewise, gays were ‘beaten’ down for ‘thousands of years’ and only now are we as a society finally rejecting many religious beliefs that are no longer applicable in the ‘modern world’.

There’s a reason why the Founding Fathers ‘separated church and state’ . . . any individual is ‘free’ to practice his ‘private and personal’ beliefs but when they conflict with other Americans beliefs, then the Constitution protects those ‘minorities’ in a nation ‘under law’ . . . not religion.

So you’re free to believe in marriage in any manner you see fit but you don’t speak for all Americans.


tech: Posted: May 21, 2014 11:43 p.m.

"Will we be called the "Paralyzed With Fear" generation? The "Bin Laden Won" generation? The "Age of Propaganda and Loathing" generation? Because that's what I'm seein'" - ricketzz

Cheer up, Dr. Doom.

Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy | Econ Chronicles |

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9fIKElVvOU


ricketzz: Posted: May 21, 2014 11:24 a.m.

I am not much of a materialist. I'd trade the internet for a competent Fourth Estate. Happy is for idiots.


tech: Posted: May 21, 2014 4:07 p.m.

Good luck with that, ricketzz.

The days of competent procurers and curators in the Fourth Estate passed in the last century. The internet and direct access to information has rendered them obsolete, with few exceptions.

Your bitterness will persist unless you accept reality.


therightstuff: Posted: May 22, 2014 4:12 a.m.

Indy: """We saw this last year when held was telling Americans who use safety net ‘entitlements’ that they weren’t worthy of such help . . ."""

No we didn't. Once again, you've posted a statement that is not true without any regard of the consequences of your lie. In typical liberal fashion, you think you can say any outrageous statement you want without having to prove it. I've lost track of how many times you've been proven to be a genuine liar.


therightstuff: Posted: May 22, 2014 4:22 a.m.

Indy: """Just as we saw religious conservatives in congress citing ‘biblical scripture’ to address cutting food stamps from poor people, Hegg has to be careful not to wonder into areas he’s unqualified to discuss."""

If liberals keep recycling a lie, they think people will believe it. The religious conservatives that this poster despises have called for food stamps usage to be brought back to 2008 levels by 2024. That's a 15 year transition.

I'd ask that this poster would practice what he preaches about not speaking into areas where he is unqualified but his hypocrisy will not allow it and that would also leave him with very little to talk about. And so we're stuck with more useless words.


ricketzz: Posted: May 23, 2014 6:59 a.m.

The internet and the all you can eat information smorgasbord tends to give equal weight to all ideas. Trusted Gatekeepers tell us what is important and what is fluff. Twitter allows me to tailor my news input somewhat, but I still have to separate the distractions from the nutmeat.

TRS: lies such as these?

"The Bible says lots of things," Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (R-Tenn.) said. He pointed to Matthew 26:11, which says "for you always have the poor with you," then 2 Thessalonians 3:10, which says "for even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either." Republicans have argued that programs like food stamps discourage work and make the safety net more of a hammock.

"Jesus made it very clear we have a duty and obligation as Christians and as citizens of this country to take care of each other. Democrat, Republican, Independent -- we should look after one another," he said. "But I think a fundamental argument we're having today is what's the duty of the federal government. We're all here on this committee making decisions about other people's money."

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) cited Ephesians 2:8-9, which says, "for by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/17/food-stamp-cuts-bible-debate_n_3293982.html


Indy: Posted: May 24, 2014 8:08 p.m.

Therightstuff wrote: Indy: """We saw this last year when held was telling Americans who use safety net ‘entitlements’ that they weren’t worthy of such help . . ."""

No we didn't. Once again, you've posted a statement that is not true without any regard of the consequences of your lie. In typical liberal fashion, you think you can say any outrageous statement you want without having to prove it. I've lost track of how many times you've been proven to be a genuine liar.

Indy: Let’s let Hegg speak in his own words:

“Today far too many walk around in the cloud of entitlement. In their forays into education, athletics, relationships and business they brandish an entitlement attitude like a sword, almost daring others to say it isn’t so.
Consequently, they are quite shocked when told to work hard, persevere through adversity, and even learn from their disappointments, in order to gain a true, consistent, and lasting sense of wellbeing. The idea that happiness must be pursued seems crazy to a generation that has always considered society as obligated to give it to them.”

Indy: Gee . . . he uses a very standard conservative ‘talking point’ word ‘entitlement’ then uses the same biblical scripture argument as House republicans did to curtail food stamps to the poor with the ‘they are quite shocked when told to work hard’.

As I noted again, you’re charity work while important doesn’t dismiss the harm you create by supporting conservative policies that don’t address basic economics.

In any event, Hegg’s words mimic conservative ideology based politics and seeing that he’s a ‘friend’ of ‘you’re a slacker’ Steve Lunetta, simply speaks to his intent.

I think in this case, you’re the one trying to protect Hegg when he’s perfectly capable of explaining this in a column that he has ‘every week’.

The fact that he hasn’t speaks for itself.


Indy: Posted: May 24, 2014 8:16 p.m.

Therightstuff wrote: Indy: """Just as we saw religious conservatives in congress citing ‘biblical scripture’ to address cutting food stamps from poor people, Hegg has to be careful not to wonder into areas he’s unqualified to discuss."""

If liberals keep recycling a lie, they think people will believe it. The religious conservatives that this poster despises have called for food stamps usage to be brought back to 2008 levels by 2024. That's a 15 year transition.

Indy: At present, since the media is more or less economically illiterate, they are reluctant to call out the failures of religious conservative politics with respect to the poor.

Cutting food stamps for the poor citing biblical scripture really puts into question the active motives of Jesus when he tried to help the poor.

In any event, you just again demonstrate your lack of knowledge with respect to economic indicators and just IGNORE the economic crash of 2007 that saw, what, jobs losses of 750,000 or so in the last month of Bush W presidency . . . truly sad.

And again, when the economy recovers, people when they get back to work will lose their food stamp eligibility . . . provided the economy does recover . . . there’s a good change were in new economic territory with globalization in play.

We already see downward pressure on wages with the global oversupply of labor.

In any event, grandstanding the cuts of food stamps is sadly the position that conservatives have placed themselves in and will be judged.

Therightstuff wrote: I'd ask that this poster would practice what he preaches about not speaking into areas where he is unqualified but his hypocrisy will not allow it and that would also leave him with very little to talk about. And so we're stuck with more useless words.

Indy: I understand the challenge you face in gaining economic literacy but staying ‘glued’ to RNC talking points, conservarive ideology and the ‘innuendo and speculation’ that Fox presents as ‘news’ isn’t helping you.


emheilbrun: Posted: May 25, 2014 7:43 a.m.

Indy, you always ignore Hegg's words..."In their forays into education, athletics, relationships and business..."

And you always ignore Hegg's topic, clarifying the distinction between the right to happiness vs. the right to pursue happiness.

I appreciate your sensitivity to the use of entitlement programs in that having to close your business likely resulted in you and your former employees having to apply for assistance, but you and I will never agree on what Hegg was saying. I find it pathetic the way you distort his words to fit your bitter bias.

And you never did explain how you came to the conclusion that the Jewish journalist Hanna Rosin, is in your mind an Evangelical Christian.


Indy: Posted: May 26, 2014 5:13 p.m.

Emheilbrun wrote: Indy, you always ignore Hegg's words..."In their forays into education, athletics, relationships and business..."

And you always ignore Hegg's topic, clarifying the distinction between the right to happiness vs. the right to pursue happiness.

Indy: I don’t ignore anything . . . I see his ‘remarks’ in their ‘totality’.

His mimicking the primary points that conservatives cite regarding ‘entitlements’ is the key here.

And yes, ‘business’ . . . the organization that ‘employs’ people and subject to recessions that create unemployment that is addressed by ‘safety net’ programs, read ‘entitlements’ to conservatives’.

Many ‘hard working’ Americans became unemployed from the financial malfeasance of Wall Street . . . and ‘shunning’ them for ‘daring’ to use safety nets is to be unconscionable.

Hegg should remain in the areas of which he has knowledge . . . but economics is not one of those areas.

Emheilbrun wrote: I appreciate your sensitivity to the use of entitlement programs in that having to close your business likely resulted in you and your former employees having to apply for assistance, but you and I will never agree on what Hegg was saying. I find it pathetic the way you distort his words to fit your bitter bias.

Indy: I find your ‘pathetic’ ignorance of what he wrote equally disturbing . . .

Emheilbrun wrote: And you never did explain how you came to the conclusion that the Jewish journalist Hanna Rosin, is in your mind an Evangelical Christian.

Indy: Just the subject matter she wrote . . .


emheilbrun: Posted: May 26, 2014 5:37 p.m.

Hanna Rosin writes about religion, so you assumed she had to be an Evangelical Christian, but you were wrong. Very wrong.


Indy: Posted: May 28, 2014 1:48 p.m.

Emheilbrun wrote: Hanna Rosin writes about religion, so you assumed she had to be an Evangelical Christian, but you were wrong. Very wrong.

Indy: from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanna_Rosin

“Hanna Rosin is a co-founder of DoubleX, a women's site connected to the online magazine Slate.[3] She is also a writer for The Atlantic. She has written for the Washington Post, The New Yorker, GQ and New York after beginning her career as a staff writer for The New Republic. Rosin has also appeared on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

A character portrayed by actress Chloë Sevigny in the 2003 film Shattered Glass about Rosin's colleague at The New Republic, Stephen Glass, was loosely based on Rosin.[7][8]

Rosin has published a book based on her 2010 Atlantic story, "The End of Men." She gave a TED talk on the subject in 2010.[9] In this work she details the emergence of women as a powerful force of the American workplace. For Rosin, this shifting economy has allowed women to use their most gendered stereotypical strengths to succeed.[10]

In the past she has specialized in writing about religious-political issues, in particular the influence of evangelical Christians on the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign.[11] She is the author of God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America, published in September 2007. Based on a New Yorker story, the book follows several young Christians at Patrick Henry College, a new evangelical institution that teaches its students to "shape the culture and take back the nation." Rosin's portrayals of the students are part of a larger attempt to chronicle the cultural and political history of the modern Christian right.[12]”

From what I remember this issue come about with conservatives here arguing against ‘equal pay for equal work’ . . .

Do you support that? Should women in the same job get the same pay?


emheilbrun: Posted: May 28, 2014 5:40 p.m.

Gender should not be the basis for determining one's wage or salary. What do you think? Do you still believe Hanna Rosin to be an Evangelical Christian? I'm unclear as to why you copied and pasted the wikipedia article.


ricketzz: Posted: May 30, 2014 6:33 a.m.

For example, The Huffington Post generally has "opinion" in the #1 column, straight "news" in the #2 center column, and "culture, lifestyle" in the #3 far right column. Opinion; facts; and distractions/wasting time, clearly delineated. This organization is miles better than aggregaters that just put all the news articles together with the fluff and the opinion, and a step in the right direction.

Our legacy will be the interstate highways, commercial space travel, the internet (if it survives the FCC), and hopefully a fully restored Democratic Republic which more closely adheres to Founding principles.

Our it will be every dystopian nightmare scenario of the past 120 years of science fiction all rolled into one hellacious ball of confusion. This is the last act.



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