What is your Living Legacy?
As COP 26 moved into its second week on Monday, and Bermuda’s Minister of of Home Affairs, Walter Roban, was being Interviewed , I had to do my own self-review.
Bermuda, my new home and community, had just been hit by an unexpected (and largely unreported) but massive rain and windstorm that flooded much of the island from Hamilton to St. George’s. And yes, it flooded my house on the ocean.
For those not familiar with this subtropical paradise, it’s nowhere near the Caribbean. (it’s actually right next to North Carolina). It is the oldest and only self-governing overseas territory of the UK in the Western Hemisphere. Founded in 1609, it has been a bit of a miraculous world wonder made possible by the Gulf Stream. As a result, it has a unique voice and position politically, economically, historically and physically as one of the rarest, most biodiverse and smallest but most important ecosystems in the world, let alone the northern hemisphere. And yes, the water really does look like this all year round because of the unique ecosystem of coral reefs, and rare marine life that thrives here.
When I came here as a prenatal child, child and later as a young adult, it was for vacation and tourist reasons, but in 2016, I came here because I was facing down a terminal cancer diagnosis and wanted to spend my (potentially last) birthday in the place where I’d always felt happiest and at peace. It was also the year I’d rewritten my will for the second time.
I rewrote it again in 2020 when Covid hit, and I had another cancer scare.
But this time, as I think and plan very carefully about the world I want to see come to fruition, whether in my lifetime or not, I’m not writing my will or planning my living legacy out of personal duress. But out of concern for the miraculous biodiversity that is life in Bermuda and frankly, on Earth.
Since arriving during winter of 2020 and returning this time, I’ve met the fishermen who watch the tides and patterns carefully along with the organic farmers working with the local “black gold” composting soil and the generations of natives who’ve personally seen the coral reefs erode along with iconic pink beach vistas like Horseshoe Bay, due to an over investment in cruise ships and tourism.
I’ve also toured, explored, and swam through the former US Military base, now the Bermuda Land Development Company/ on St. David’s. It houses some of the most beautiful beaches and nature preserves in Bermuda, is approximately 10% of the island country’s land mass now, and is open and ready to do something completely new and different to deliver real climate solutions, a more diversified economy for Bermuda and a more globally focused ROI for investors, whose portfolios, like mine, are focused on ESG.
So, when an opportunity with the global action community for impact investing — Toniic landed in my lap last week to speak on behalf of the Island’s opportunities for ESG investing, I jumped at the chance and realized I needed to get my finances and legacy in place as quickly as possible to speak as truthfully as I could about my role in this vision for my home here in Bermuda and on Earth.
And today, I’m putting pen to paper, and significant money into a fund that will firmly and irrevocably tie my life and legacy to climate action and the preservation of Bermuda as well as our wonderful home, called Earth.
And I can’t wait to live to see what happens.
What do you want to see happen in your lifetime? What tangible commitments and steps can you take to ensure that legacy for yourself?
Holly Lynch is a 20+ year communications veteran and life-long social impact advocate and strategist who has helped individuals and companies tackle the toughest challenges in their worlds. Having survived countless life setbacks and two rounds with terminal cancer, while seeing the country-wide collapse of the systems and safety nets for the most vulnerable in and outside our communities, she is now shifting her life and career trajectories to focus on coaching those facing down fundamental shifts and transitions as they try to navigate and rebuild their lives and businesses during these unprecedented times.