• Service Leadership

Legacy Awareness in Tracks

Posted on Tue January 5, 2016.

Why our awareness defines our legacy and shapes our tracks! In South Africa the term “spoor” is mainly used to indicate the tracks of an animal or person. Spoor can be simple tracks in the sand of a riverbed but it goes further than that. It can also include flattened grass, scrapings on trees, scattered seeds or maybe broken off branches. Even the smell that an animal left behind belongs to the kingdom of “spoor”. This short tale explains why the tracks you leave behind in life and your legacy awareness are important.

Why our awareness defines our legacy and shapes our tracks! In South Africa the term “spoor” is mainly used to indicate the tracks of an animal or person. Spoor can be simple tracks in the sand of a riverbed but it goes further than that. It can also include flattened grass, scrapings on trees, scattered seeds or maybe broken off branches. Even the smell that an animal left behind belongs to the kingdom of “spoor”. This short tale explains why the tracks you leave behind in life and your legacy awareness are important. “Leave only your footprints” Casbah said as I was packing my sleeping-bag into my backpack. We had spent three days exploring the banks of the Makutswe river on foot and were now preparing ourselves for the last stretch home on foot.

The nights had been bitterly cold along the river. Each night our group of 9 hugged a bit closer to the fire and to each other. I had been travelling light with every item I brought easily tucked away into my backpack and I checked my rifle for cleanness and the bolt action for smoothness of operation. I was good to go and was ready to lead the trail home. My footprints were scattered all over the campsite and along the riverbank were we got our drinking water. Large Sycamore fig trees stood like giants evenly spaced out along the river edges, their yellow bark glowing in the morning sun. A dense carpet of dropped ripe figs lay beneath them bringing a spring in our step each time we walked over this layer. It was like walking on a mattress when you walked on them. Some small figs dropped in the river water and floated downstream eastwards towards the Olifants river.

The fig tree left its fruits as spoor floating on top of the water and the riverbanks. These small fruits formed the legacy of these majestic trees and the seeds inside the fruits carried the promise of another giant. All together it formed the story of the life cycle of this giant tree. As I was enjoying this wild place, full of beauty and life I asked myself what was the legacy I left behind in my spoor? I decided that my legacy were the decisions I took in my life and my actions. My footprints were the evidence of these and they told the story of my life. Surely the spoor of my life consisted of many happy and creative tracks, of actions helping and motivating others whenever I could to live a life full of meaning and joy. There was also awareness of spoor and tracks that I was not proud of as well. Decisions, words and actions I would rather forget or not tell to others. I thanked the fig tree silently and decided to increase my awareness of the spoor I left behind. I decided to dedicate my days on creating spoor that I can be proud of. Tracks that leave a great legacy and a promise of another giant. Just as the Sycamore fig tree’s fruits did.