I know you’ve come here to read about inspiring people, big boats, fast cars and technology but let me just stop you for a moment before we get to that. Do you think about legacy? Big question, I know, for so early in the magazine but (I’m not sure if this is down to hormones from the almond milk I’ve been drinking or just getting older) I’ve just started thinking lately about legacy more and more. I care about the basics, like leaving my children more of a foundation to grow from than I had to start with. I don’t mean that in a “I didn’t grow up with shoes” way, by the way. I mean that in a way of each generation being able to help push the next.
While I’ll generally look like an overly pale white man, I do have some Cook Island heritage and one thing that really resonates with me from that heritage is a different perspective on the concept of time. Like a lot of old, indigenous cultures, there is a huge respect for ancestors, current family and thought for the future generations. It’s almost like the past, present and future exists together as one unit at any one time. That might sound a little interstellar but it’s also kind of comforting and also has relevance to a Western world. The world’s biggest businesses, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, even now Apple, have become generational affairs. Key founders are no longer around but their influence and legacy is woven into the fabric of an entity that will keep carrying on and providing jobs, products and influence to future generations.
Every issue, I have got into the habit of asking interview subjects what legacy means to them. This issue ironically was the winemaker behind Vidal’s new Legacy range. He went onto talk about Villa Maria’s founder, George Fistonich who has literally built a legacy from the ground up and created an iconic family business. Often the answers are a little different, of course but generally revolve around thinking beyond oneself. I like that. I think it’s also a healthy way to think and something I’m going to work on more. I’m not a psychology expert but it seems like often, the most self-centered people are the saddest. It seems the more I think about the past, the present and the future as a combined concept, the more content I feel in terms of my place within that and my contribution to the future.
Also as a side note, legacy is not all about assets and money, I don’t think. While as a kid, we didn’t seem to have a load of spare cash and few luxuries, but the lesson that I got from watching my Mother hold down three jobs to pay the interest on a mortgage that was hitting 18% at the time to keep a roof over the heads of three crazy, hyperactive boys was a legacy in its own right and has always influenced my approach to life. Thanks for the legacy, Mum.