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  • Writer's pictureRaykel Tolson


On January 26, 2020, NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, along with eight other people, including his daughter, Giana, was killed in a helicopter accident here in Los Angeles County. Kobe’s tragic death shocked and saddened the world, especially Angelinos and Laker fans. Many Angelinos were still mourning the March 31, 2019 murder of rapper, Nipsey Hussle. Their deaths hurt us so much because of the way they lived their lives. Both of these men left a lasting legacy. What makes their legacies so intriguing to me is that neither Kobe nor Nipsey were perfect individuals, but the legacies they left us were inspirational and will live on forever. Kobe left the legacy of the Mamba Mentality, mastering your craft to not only win but to dominate. Nipsey Hussle left a legacy of financial freedom and “buying back the block.

The deaths of both Kobe and Nipsey have made me ask myself, what legacy will I leave behind? Have you pondered this question? In light of the 2020 Coronavirus that has quarantined the world, and has killed over 14,000 people as of March 22, 2020, maybe you should. When I think about people who have left significant legacies, I think about Martin Luther King, Jr (Civil Rights Movement & nonviolence activism), Nelson Mandela (Anti-Apartheid Revolution & forgiveness) and Barack Obama (Yes We Can). Perhaps the most significant and lasting legacy is that of Jesus of Nazareth, and his legacy of love. Jesus performed countless miracles and taught many lessons, but the overarching theme of all that he did was love. When his disciples asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:36-39). Scriptures tell us that even the existence of Jesus is because of the love that God had for the world. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16).

I guess the legacy I would like to leave is that I made you think about what you think about. I do not desire to tell people what to believe, because I do not suggest that what I believe is the only or best belief. However, I do want people to ponder why they think what they think. I want the people who come into contact with me to release negative beliefs that no longer serve them, especially the religious beliefs that are based in fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear, so replace any belief that evokes fear with one rooted in love. But I digress. I want people who read my books and articles or listen to my podcast to elevate their thinking and raise their consciousness to live life more abundantly. I also desire every child that I meet in person or through my books to understand that they are made in the image and likeness of God and that they can create the life that they desire with the thoughts that they think. For this reason, my son and I have written Renz Bedtime Prayer and Renz Affirmations: God is good and so am I. Also, leaving a legacy is the reason I encouraged my son to get his creative juices flowing and to be my writing partner for the picture books.

If you do not have any idea what legacy you would like to leave, then I suggest that you continue the legacy of love that Jesus began. In fact, anyone who is a follower of Jesus should probably leave a legacy of love. Whatever you decide, start living our lives with the thought of leaving a legacy. Blessings to you and your families.

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