President Obama’s Past Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, was quoted as saying “never waste the opportunity that a crisis brings to the table.” Leaders during earlier world crises challenged us to come together with strength and conviction to lift ourselves up along with helping our fellow world citizens who are in need.

This recession is our generation’s “BIG Bump in the Road”. This as Emanuel suggests, offers the opportunity to reassess our direction, what’s truly important for each of our lives and how we can get there. We can be another “Great Generation” if each of us carefully weighing the choices before us. The challenges are greatest for those who have suffered the loss of a job, a home, health and a good amount of retirement investments. Yet for those of you who have more resources intact, you can seize the moment and chose meaningfully steps to help those around you get through this time with less distress.

Seize the Moment

“When people speak of the powerful feelings that motivate them to give back, I hear a common story about deep alignment of personal convictions with community purpose. Applying ones knowledge and skills becomes irresistible, and there’s a sense of acute purpose that stretches far beyond one’s individual interests. It’s a kind of energy and being, a certain slant of light that for me is the meaning of philanthropy.”

Peter Karoof, founder The Philanthropy Institute and 2006 Purpose Prize Winner*, Civic Venture/

Take the Legacy Challenge!

Seize the MomentTen years from now what will you be able to say about yourself and how you reacted to this time in your life, this time in history? My challenge to each of you reading this is to set a time within the next week to make your Legacy Action Plan. Look inside of yourself and inventory what resources you have big or small, that could be significant to someone that you can share right now, this day or this week. Put on your creativity hat and open your heart. Do this with other family members, including your children or with a friend. You’ll be creating a shared legacy that you will look back on with honor. Here’s just a few possibilities to get you started.

  • Sign up for Tab For A Cause at Each time you open a new internet tab/session you’ll be donating to charity.
  • Donate extra or unused items to a local family or cause.
  • Offer your time and skill to a neighbor or local agency that will help meet a need they are struggling to fill due to reduced resources.
  • Call someone you know who has experienced a loss during this time and say “I’m here to listen or brainstorm”.
  • If you haven’t identified charities in your will, do it now. Consider including a charity as a beneficiary to your life insurance policy.
  • Set up a donor-advised charity fund that would give you tax breaks now and help a cause or population that is currently at risk. You can do this with very small sums of money!
  • Check for more options on the Pathmaker Resource Page.

Make this the year that you will proudly tell future generations was the time, “I made the best choices I could and I helped others along the way”. Contact me and tell me about the legacy decisions you’re making today.

If this has raised some bigger questions about how you can turn your current life circumstances into a meaningful legacy, contact Mary for a brief chat at or visit for additional resources.

Footnote: *The Purpose Prize® provides five awards of $100,000 each to people over 60 who are taking on society’s biggest challenges.