Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
This, of course, is the famous Gettysburg Address that President Lincoln gave, not 150 years ago today, but on November 19, 1863.
150 years ago today, July 1, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg began.
Although I tear up every time I read or hear this speech, my message today is not about battles or war. With the July 4th holiday looming, it’s not even about freedom or independence.
My message today is about leadership, choices and envisioning a future that is different from the past. Isn’t that what leadership is really all about? Envisioning a future that is different from the past; different from today; different from where your current path is leading?
Close your eyes and think about this for a minute: What effect will your choices of today have 150 years from NOW? You don’t have to be the President of the United States to affect history. In fact, with every breath you take, you’re changing the world. What do you envision as being different because you’re here, living and breathing and making choices today?
While much of what I and we at The Legacy Center do is about entrepreneurship, this is not an entrepreneurial message either. This is a personal leadership message; a message that asks, “Are you owning your thoughts and actions?”
150 years from now……I will be long gone. My descendants will be thriving. They will be creative seekers. They will be empowered to make change and to take control of any situation. They will not be coddled or dependent. They will make choices knowing that those choices have ramifications today and well into the future. This independent, accountability-laced, ownership mindset is something I’ve instilled in my kids who will pass it to theirs.
They will also value family meals and have more pets than they can handle. They will likely be able to work with their hands, a skill great-great-great grandpa passed on. They will be smart but in a common sense kind of way. They will seek to do important things that matter to the people around them.
What will your descendants do, have and be? What choices are you making today that will affect them and others they touch? NOW is the time to think about what choices you make. It’s also the time to take control and MAKE decisions that lead to creating choice.
These leadership skills can be learned and practiced. I encourage you to work on it for yourself, your family, your descendants and the many people you all touch along the way!
My best to you!
Peg Stookey, Founder & Change Catalyst!
The Legacy Center