Sunday, July 28, 2013
Soul Sunday: What's Your Legacy?
I was inspired to write this blog by the former producer/Co-Creator of the Simpsons. As interesting and as random as it sounds today he is my HERO. His name is Sam Simon and his legacy is GIVING.
I, as millions of others have the Internet as my primary source of news. The other day I came across an article in the UK DailyMail about Simon giving away his fortune. I have been reading it on-line from various media sources and am HAPPY to finally be reading a positive and inspirational story.
The article talked about his passion for protecting and caring for animals as well as feeding the homeless. He expressed in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter "'The truth is, I have more money than I'm interested in spending. Everyone in my family is taken care of. And I enjoy this."
He was recently diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and was told by doctors he had 3-6 months to live. I'm sure this was a sobering thought to him but based on his actions, an inspirational one too. He is contributing his 'Simpsons Royalties', tens of millions of dollars annually it has been reported, to causes that produce an instant result or reward for those who are the recipients. He is re-investing his fortune in humanity and to limit the suffering of animals.
Mr. Simon and the Sam Simon Foundation is responsible for what includes but is not limited to the following:
* Turning his Malibu Mansion into a dog rescue shelter for strays that standard shelters would otherwise put to death. They are cared for and trained to be companions for the deaf through the 'Hearing Dog Program'
*Purchasing zoos and travelling circuses to save the animals. He told the reporter "I just wanted to have some days where I get to see animals walk in grass for the first time. Through PETA, we rescue animals in roadside zoos and circuses. They are some of the most abused animals in the country. Freeing those animals, that's something I'm not sure I would do if it weren't for the cancer."
*Feeding the homeless or families in need with cruelty free, healthy Vegan food. I have read that his place services and feeds over 200 families a day via Tom Bradley Family Source Center, 5213 W. Pico Blvd. , Los Angeles 90019.
*Service dogs for Veterans. This foundation provides companion animals to veterans suffering emotional and/or physical injury as a result of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
* Pet visitations. Taking animals into visit people in assisted living facilities, thus providing health and well being benefits to the recipients.
*Mobile surgery clinics for animals This service provides FREE surgeries for animals.
The motto: "Saving the lives of dogs, to enrich the lives of people"
He was asked what change in the world he would like to see by the Hollywood Reporter and he replied,
"I want medical experiments on animals stopped. They don't do anything, and they don't work. Veganism is an answer for almost every problem facing the world in terms of hunger and climate change. It helps people's health. Meat is the biggest greenhouse gas producer. There's also the cruelty and suffering aspect. When people do meatless Mondays, and when people adopt instead of buying a dog, that's a PETA victory."
The three people he mentioned to be an inspiration to him are Capt. Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd (who now has a boat named after Sam Simon)
Sam cuts the ribbon for the New PETA Headquarters, now maned the Sam Simon Center
and Charles MacCormack of Save the Children
Former CEO of Save the Children in Ethiopia
Reading about Sam's generosity, besides feeling like he is my new HERO, it made me think a lot about the legacy I would leave behind. Not a legacy of fame or fortune but of service or example. None of us need millions like Sam to help, give or make an impact. I am however inspired and impressed with someone who has the resources to accomplish such good and who actually goes out and DOES IT. Giving of your time or resources no matter how big or small does make an impact. What if it only helped one person or animal? wouldn't it be worth it?
My legacy? Time is the most precious commodity available to us all. Taking time out of your life to enrich the lives of others is one part of the legacy that I will leave behind. I hope it inspires my children to do the same. I want to empower and inspire women all around the world through fashion, there is an investor out there to make my vision a reality, I will just keep moving forward and working with women one-on-one to build self esteem through personal style until I am able to reach them globally. I also want to make an impact in the Down Syndrome community as my son has blessed my life in more ways than I can possible articulate. My children are my greatest legacy of all. Spending time with them and teaching them the compassion and respect for the planet and animals (we ALL have Plant Based diets) and people. Sharing with them the virtues of hard work, service without reward, honesty and persistence. Most of all inspiring them to follow their dreams no matter when it may lead them, they need to fight for what they would like to accomplish in their lifetime, essentially their legacy.
I must also make clear that I'm not counting Sam out yet either. I would assume based on all the fighting he does on behalf of others and voiceless animals he has a hell of a lot of fight in him too. May he find healing and peace in what I hope is a very long life ahead. The world could use more people like him.
What would you like your legacy to be?
Leave your comments below!