Legacies and stories of the past are topics I have covered previously. However, this topic is at the forefront of my mind given this past week’s news cycle now more than ever before. Ultimately, it all speaks volumes for how legacies are formed, how they are told, and most importantly, what you take away from them.
Last weekend, I watched the film “Quezon’s Game.” It’s a biopic about the second president of the Philippines, Manuel Quezon, and how he saved nearly 1,300 Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. It’s a little known history about both the Philippines and World War II, but what it is probably even less known is how much of a fight President Quezon had to put up to make this happen, both to his colleagues and to the United States who were occupying the country at the time.
It’s been over 80 years since this noble act happened in real life, and the timing that this story is coming out now makes for poignant timing with what’s happening in the world today. From what I’ve been gathering through following the film’s social media is that audience members have gone away in a state of amazement, having not known about this before. What will hopefully be gained from the release of this film into the world is not only people learning about this history, but also to apply the messages from it in our own lives and in these uncertain times.
The same day I saw “Quezon’s Game,” Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash. Since then, tributes and stories have been pouring in, reflecting on both his contributions to the sport of basketball, and also outside of that; to his family, the community of LA, and beyond; through giving back and inspiring others with his story (which is now his legacy).
Kobe is one of those people where even if you didn’t follow basketball, you still have a pretty good idea about who he was, and the fact that we now have to refer to him in the past tense is unbelievable. The way his life, among everyone else on that flight, came to an end is an extremely sad way for their legacies to begin.
While a lot of the attention has been on Kobe, I find it particularly heartbreaking that three young girls lost their lives too, including Gianna. They still had their whole lives ahead of them, and while they will still have legacies of their own for others to look to, it’s just unbearably sad that their legacies in of themselves could have been a lot fuller had they lived.
The takeaways from this tragedy have been noticeably immediate: 1. You don’t know how much time you or anyone else on this earth really have, so say what you need to say and hold those closest to you as tightly as possible. 2. Much like Kobe, work hard, persevere, and go for your dreams. Even if you fall and experience failures along the way, just keep on going.
Needless to say, there was a lot to gain from the week from legacies all around. While some legacies took a longer period of time to learn about than others, both instances are equally as impactful in their own ways. It’s often wise to learn from one’s story, even when that person is no longer with us. While what they leave behind is valuable in keeping their memory alive, it’s also just as insightful in what messages we take away from them and how they’re applied in our own lives.