Yesterday, I received a beautiful, handwritten note from someone I haven’t talked to in years. He had heard about my dad’s death, read about his life and it stirred something in him – a question that keeps tugging at his heart strings: what am I going to leave behind that really matters?


I can’t tell you how many people have shared similar sentiments with me over the past few weeks. Every time, it makes my heart skip a beat.


My dad, Dr. Peter Benson, was truly a bright light in the world; helping kids thrive and inspiring communities to rally around their youth was his life’s mission. God, how I miss our intense conversations about ideas, strategies and success stories.


Despite huge achievements – from invitations to White House dinners to sharing his work with the Dalai Lama – he was incredibly humble. So many times, he’d waltz into our house for a family gathering with his latest book tucked under his arm, already inscribed to us. He’d set it on the table or stick it on a shelf, just to make sure we had a copy – no fanfare, no boasting.


Since his death, our family has been so touched by so many beautiful tributes, heartfelt letters and touching anecdotes about my dad – a compassionate, charming, quirky dude who left behind such a grand legacy. He was insatiably curious and incredibly compassionate. He saw the good in everyone – every kid, every grownup – and knew we were all capable of greatness.
To know that, in retrospect, his life is now inspiring others to question their purpose in the world is such a great blessing. He would be {and surely is, somewhere out there} so excited about that.
{Photo Credit: Kai Worrell, taken during a moment of tribute to my dad at this week’s TEDxTC event}