The theme of this issue of the Legacy Magazine is, yes, legacy. I want to talk to you today about what legacy means to me – the legacy I was left, the legacy I want to leave, and the Legacy of MDI, Legacy Discovery.
My dad left me a legacy of hard work, military service, 50 years of marriage, speaking your mind and caring not a wit what others opinion of you may be. Raymond Lee Snow, my father, and his father, Maurice Raymond Snow, were physical men who worked with their hands all their lives and enjoyed active sports well into middle age. Grampa Snow was a minor league pitcher of some renown. It was written in the local press he would have gone up to the Big Show if not for the family responsibilities that limited his travel schedule. He served in the Army in World War I, coming home to work for the gas company, start a family and play baseball. He died a few years before I was born.
Dad grew up during the Great Depression, went to work delivering ice until he joined the Army, coming home to serve in the National Guard and work for the gas company with his father. Two days after his 28th birthday Pearl Harbor was attacked so he, along with his father and two brothers, went straight to the recruiting office to enlist in the war effort. Although his father was turned away, Ray re-enlisted, joining his two brothers in the Army, serving in Africa, Europe, and the Pacific campaigns between them.
I never served in the military. I have been married and divorced twice. I went to college and have worked mostly in sales. I am nothing like my father.
I played all sports, including soccer well into my forties. I have learned the value of speaking my mind and have reputation for doing so. People who know me well will attest that I care not a wit what others may think of me. I am my father.
I have a daughter and a son, and I am fiercely proud of both. I have spent their entire lives telling them stories of their grandfather they never knew, as my dad did with me. My son is in the Marine Corps, carrying on the military tradition. They are my greatest legacy.
Next would surely be the work I have done, and continue to do here in MDI. I believe all men deserve a men’s team. Most men carry a load of pain, and many have no idea what it means to be a mature masculine man in today’s world. Everything I do here is because I believe those men need men like us and they wish to be men like us, just like we did when we each first came here. I am committed to leaving this big circle better than I found it, something built to last for future generations of men.
This brings me to the Legacy Discovery. Without the unwavering commitment of a group of like-minded men early in the history of MDI, Legacy Discovery would never have been created, never mind survive and thrive for well over 10 years. It was intended to be an initiation event for men that could be put on by men in their own region but be a consistent, high quality event across North America. It was never intended to be training or an entertaining event for our membership. It was expressly meant to be for new, first-time men. Although men may choose to participate more than once, those were not the men who were in the minds of the creators of this great event.
I believe the men of MDI want that same high quality consistency in our Legacy Discovery today. When we send a man to participate in an LD we want him to have a similar experience whether he attends one in our region or on the other side of our country or in another country. I believe it’s important that we know the man we send will get what we told him he would get. He is trusting us for that.
In recent years the high quality has been there in our LD events, but the consistency has not. The International Legacy Discovery Team had fallen on hard times. The men on that team were no longer getting the care and attention from top leadership. Regions began to drift in what they were delivering in the Legacy Discovery. Multiple versions began to appear as regions either clung to an old version or slowly created their own. We had reached the point where an LD in one region was nearly unrecognizable from one held in another region. One version was so different it was even given a different name.
To bring back the consistency and maintain the high quality that we all want for the men, the International Legacy Team has been re-formed with representatives invited from all regions. A few regions have yet to be represented yet but the invitation is always open. Steve Junkin from Eastern Canada leads this team. He was involved in the creation of LD and has served in every Legacy Discovery job there is. We are fortunate to have him step back in to lead this team of dedicated men from across MDI who are committed to bringing together all the great ideas created in the multiple versions of LD and create one official version of MDI’s Legacy Discovery.
If you have ideas or want to participate in this important process contact your region’s representative on that team. If your region doesn’t have anyone, ask your RC why not and offer to help find one or step up yourself. This is important that as the LD evolves into this new century that all our regions are involved in this process.
This will be a part of the legacy you leave.
Every day I see the mark made upon me, trail blazed by my father and grandfather. They taught me that I am my own man and have a responsibility to make my own mark and blaze my own trail in this world to benefit those who follow me. My daughter, Erica, 26, and my son, Tyler, 24, are a legacy I am proud to claim. I am equally proud of MDI and what we offer to men in pain, men alone and men confused about masculinity.
What is the legacy you were given? Most important, what is the legacy you wish to leave?