July 1, 2014
On June 28th, history marked the 100th anniversary of the event that sparked World War I. After the war and the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, maps were redrawn by the European victors, with very little understanding of the maze of Middle Eastern identities. Kurds, Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Jews, Christians, Druze and Turkmen became split between arbitrary new borders. And we continue to reap the unintended consequences of what happened 100 years ago today…
The guys who drew the new maps of the world are dead now – but their legacy lives on. I find legacies fascinating – and potentially horrifying, depending on what each of us leaves behind us.
At Global Next’s last Oxford leadership conference in the UK, the students did a project called “The 100-Year Legacy Project” where they identified how they’d like to be remembered 100 years from now. It’s an exercise that I would encourage everyone to try, because it shifts your focus from the “now” to what your life might mean for those who come after us.
And while I am dedicated to the idea of impacting the world, I am realistic enough to know that there is only so much any one person can do. And regarding the ongoing and increasing instability and violence the world is witnessing, I know that there will not be peace this side of eternity. But there can be what I call “pockets of peace” because individuals dedicated to God’s call on their life reach out of their comfort zone and bring peace and hope to individuals.
The world we live in is filled with “intended” and “unintended” consequences because of the choices and decisions of others. What will your decisions be? What will your legacy be for those who come after you? For me, I hope to be an agent of change for at least a few lives – and a person who brings truth and peace to a world desperately in need of it.
No one can undo the past – but you can choose for tomorrow. Who will you be? And what will they say about your life and choices 100 years from now?
Learn more about Global Next’s International Leadership training programs here: http://globalnext.org/course-itineraries/