Since my grandfather passed last week, I’ve been considering legacy and what it means to have a lasting legacy. It’s been rather introspective and I think that it has been healthy for me. Asking yourself questions like, “What do I want my legacy to be?” or “If I were to leave this world today, what would be legacy be, how would people remember me?”, can produce change and resolve in your life. I had begun thinking about this as I sat on the 10 hour flight from Munich to Chicago on Wednesday, but yesterday waking up to the news of Václav Havel passing was another wave hitting me. (Havel was the first president of Czechoslovakia and then Czech Republic after the fall of communism, as well as a notable dissident that helped lead to the collapse of communism in then Czechoslovakia. Here’s a wiki page on him.)
I never met Havel, although I wish I could have met him, but his legacy and life impacted this kid from Lake Geneva, WI that lives, and calls home, Havel’s homeland. Sadly, some over look the impact Havel had and some question it. Or better, some question the man himself. I’m not claiming the Havel was a saint, he was a broken man like you and I, but there have been a few Czechs throughout history (another couple are Jan Hus and Jan Amos Komenský, or John Amos Comenius, to just name a couple.) that I admire and I pray that there would be more Czechs like them. Czechs that exhibit and embody the same values and qualities that made these Czechs heroes!
My director, wrote on Facebook last night, “Where are the Havels of this generation?” I would love to see “Havels” of this generation, “Havels” that aren’t concerned about themselves, but their countrymen and strive for higher virtues than “what’s best for me.” To my Czech friends, and non-Czech friends too, I would challenge you all to honor the legacy of Havel, by striving for, living out and embodying the ideas, values and virtues that made Havel the culture changer that he was! That is honoring his legacy! Yes, mourn and remember him, but remember him and honor him, by being the change that the Czech Republic so badly needs! By the way, my prayer is that the same passion that was seen last night on Wenceslas Square and throughout Prague, and the country, would be put into practice and lived out with passion! Here’s a moving video of last night’s celebrations of Havel, his life and his passing.
I have watched that video several times. As I watch it I pray for the country, I call home now, that something deep will happen. I pray that God would use the passing of this influential man to change the Czech Republic and ultimately draw more people to Himself. Please pray with me to this extent!
Here’s a couple of notable quotes from the man who helped change the course of history in the Czech Republic:
“Love and truth must triumph over hate and lies.”
“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.”
“Man is in fact nailed down — like Christ on the Cross — to a grid of paradoxes . . . he balances between the torment of not knowing his mission and the joy of carrying it out, between nothingness and meaningfulness. And like Christ, he is in fact victorious by virtue of his defeats.”
“The only lost cause is one we give up on before we enter the struggle.”
“You do not become a “dissident” just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.”
That’s just scratching the surface of the quotes you can find, click here to find more.