I remain incredulous at the early death of Jackie Lewis, co-founder of LIFE Leadership, a personal development and leadership training organisation that I am a member of.
Jackie Lewis was just thirty-four years old. She had four young children aged between 12 and four and she leaves behind a network of people positively affected by her words, her actions and her beliefs - her leadership.
Jackie died after contracting a virus during a recent visit to Puerto Rico.
Jackie was an angel. The tribute pages (pictures from those pages) to her proudly share the stories from people whose lives she positively changed: just by being herself - no airs or graces, no spoilt bratness, no preciousness at all.
Jackie leaves an amazing legacy of walking a path from un-wed teenage-party-girl-pregnancy trouble to greatness by developing herself to develop others. Be warned, you may need tissues to watch the following recent testimony by Jackie: ( Jackie was also a religious woman and she makes many references to her God so if this may offend you, better not to watch it.)
What is the legacy you will leave when you die? I am reminded of the story of Alfred Nobel, the original chemist of explosives and namesake of the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1888, when Alfred's brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred which called him the "merchant of death."
Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel created a will that soon shocked his relatives and established the now famous Nobel Prizes.
Alfred established a small factory at Helenborg near Stockholm to manufacture nitroglycerine. Unfortunately, nitroglycerine is a very difficult and dangerous material to handle. In 1864, Alfred's factory blew up - killing several people, including Alfred's younger brother, Emil.
The explosion did not slow down Alfred, and within only a month, he organized other factories to manufacture nitroglycerine.
In 1867, Alfred invented a new and safer-to-handle explosive - dynamite.
Though Alfred became famous for his invention of dynamite, many people did not intimately know Alfred Nobel. He was a quiet man who did not like a lot of pretense or show. He had very few friends and never married.
And though he recognized the destructive power of dynamite, Alfred believed it was a harbinger of peace. Alfred told Bertha von Suttner, an advocate for world peace,
My factories may make an end of war sooner than your congresses. The day when two army corps can annihilate each other in one second, all civilized nations, it is to be hoped, will recoil from war and discharge their troops.*
Unfortunately, Alfred did not see peace in his time. Alfred Nobel, chemist and inventor, died alone on December 10, 1896 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
After several funeral services were held and Alfred Nobel's body was cremated, the will was opened. Everyone was shocked.
Alfred Nobel had written several wills during his lifetime, but the last one was dated November 27, 1895 - a little over a year before he died.
Nobel's last will left approximately 94 percent of his worth to the establishment of five prizes (physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace) to "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." From About.com
What is the legacy you will leave when you die? If you want to make a difference, I can only urge you to join us at LIFE Leadership. Being surrounded by such wonderful and non-judgemental people is unusual, refreshing and just what the doctor ordered for the recovery of broken spirits and jaded community believers.
This world can be different.....and LIFE Leadership is making it so.
Vale, Jackie Lewis. Your legacy lives on.