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What Do You Want Your Legacy to Be?

Life has been a great teacher for me. I have learned more from my various jobs and experiences with people than from books.

Historical Legacy

A California Ghost Town

A California Ghost Town

Leaving a Legacy for Descendants and History

Since no one lives forever and everybody must die, there is no sense in worrying about death. Most people and especially older folk are more worried about their legacy or how they will be remembered after passing away.

On the occasion of my high school 50th-year reunion, classmates were asked what they wanted to be remembered for. Surprisingly, the majority of the 30 attendees said that they primarily wanted to be remembered as a good husband or wife, father or mother, and grandfather or grandmother. I hope that my descendants and future generations will recall my legacy of good character, family values, teaching and learning, federal government service, and writing.

In this article, I first define legacy and then share more in detail what I want my legacy to be for descendants and history.

What Is a Legacy?

In general, a legacy has two primary meanings. If we are talking about property law, it refers to a gift of the property passed on after a person's death. Another important meaning refers to a record or account of what an individual achieved during his or her life. This is commonly referred to as a historical legacy that is immaterial in contrast to a monetary or property legacy.

Although I will pass on a property legacy, this article is concerned about what I want my historical legacy to be.

A Good Family Man

After I am laid to rest, I want my children, grandchildren, and future generations to remember me as a good family man possessing admirable moral virtues. These virtues would include love, kindness, compassion, honesty, hard work, justice, and generosity.

I also hope that my friends and acquaintances, their descendants, and others will regard Paul Richard Kuehn as an honest man who never cheated anyone. More importantly, people will remember me as a generous, kind, hard-working, and compassionate man who never hesitated to help anyone, and who contributed to society.

A Good Family Man

My wife and granddaughter are in this photo with me,

My wife and granddaughter are in this photo with me,

A Good Citizen

People must remember me as a patriot who loved and served his country. This was manifested first through military service for almost four years and then through almost thirty years of federal government work.

I want to be remembered as a Chinese linguist in the United States Navy who served on overseas bases in Taiwan and Japan during the Cold War in the late 1960s.

Hopefully, my nearly 30 years of service with the federal government as a Chinese translator and Chinese language instructor will be respected and appreciated.

While working for the federal government, I hope that my efforts during the 1980s played a small part in helping the United States win the Cold War.

A Patriotic Citizen

Taken in 1967

Taken in 1967

An Excellent Teacher and Student

Although it took me nearly 30 years to find a calling as a teacher, I have been involved in education for most of my life.

First, I hope people remember and appreciate my efforts in teaching English as a foreign language to Chinese and Taiwanese in Taiwan in the 1970s. When I stopped teaching in July 1979, I was quite successful and running my language teaching service.

Second, while working for the federal government, I taught Chinese Mandarin listening and reading skills to government employees for two years in the 1990s.

Finally, I realized my dream by teaching English as a foreign language in Thailand's public and private schools for almost seven years after I retired from government service. I was recognized as an excellent teacher who inspired students to pursue advanced studies in English.

As a student, I want to be remembered as a linguist who learned many languages and became proficient in Chinese Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Thai.

An Excellent Teacher

Picture Taken in 2009

Picture Taken in 2009

As a Writer

Since 2011, I have been writing articles on Hubpages and a few other Internet sites. Presently, I have written more than 300 hubs or articles on various topics. The majority of my articles are on teaching English as a foreign language in Thailand and other educational issues. I also have written articles on my experiences in learning languages. Hopefully, my writing will be a legacy that will last a long time. It is my wish that my writing will be useful to society and also inspire people to teach and learn languages as well as acquire moral values.

As a Writer

As a writer in 2014

As a writer in 2014



Nobody likes to be forgotten after their death. By building up a legacy while still alive, chances are that you will be remembered and appreciated long after passing away.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Paul Richard Kuehn

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