Our legacies will define us long after we are gone from this earth. If you knew you did not have much time left, what would you want your legacy to be?
The very first episode of The Simpsons aired on December 17th, 1989. It was my senior year in high school. Well over two decades later the show is still going strong, having made an icon and huge success story of its now famous cartoonist and writer, Matt Groening, as well as the series’ co-creator, Sam Simon.
Simon left The Simpsons in 1993, though he still has an executive producer title. Prior to The Simpsons, Simon was a writer, producer and director of Taxi, Cheers, The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Drew Carey Show. He had been working more recently as a consultant on Anger Management, the comedy starring Charlie Sheen.
Though The Simpsons have become a timeless sensation in those two decades, Simon knows that his own time is drawing to a close. Not long ago he was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and told that he had just a few months left to live.
So he has chosen to donate the tens of millions of dollars he earns annually in royalties to charity.
How is that for leaving a legacy?
He already has several causes that mean a great deal to him, particularly: PETA, Save the Children, and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He is also exceptionally dedicated to his own foundation, The Sam Simon Foundation, which provides: service dogs for veterans with PTSD, hearing dogs for those with hearing disabilities, trained dogs available for adoption in loving homes and dogs for visitation to the sick and elderly. The Sam Simon Foundation also provides nutritious meals to families that are experiencing economic hardships. Simon even used his millions started to buy roadside zoos and circuses so he could the animals, knowing that they are some of the most abused animals in the country.
Many, many kudos go out to Simon and his team for using the time he has left to help other people and animals and for setting them up for years to come. Long after he is gone, his legacy of giving will continue. Here’s to paying it forward.
What will your legacy be?
Now it’s time to link up. Happy Thoughtful Thursday!