You may have seen geckos on the outer walls of your dorm, in your stairwells or maybe in your showers, but what you may not know is that these geckos are not native to the Searcy area. According to my daad, they are here because of him.
When my dad was a senior biology major at Harding in 1989, he became close to biology professor Dr. Mike Plummer.
In the same year, my dad went to visit his brother in Galveston, Texas, and while he was there, he noticed that Mediterranean geckos were everywhere. Knowing that Plummer would take interest in these geckos, he collected “about seven to nine” of the geckos and brought them back to study, as this breed was not in Arkansas.
Plummer released them into the animal enclosure on the side of the Pryor-England Science Building, which had an aluminum lip to prevent any animals from getting out, but the geckos got out anyway.
After they escaped, the geckos relocated to the attic of the science building where they began reproducing and spreading around campus, and the rest is history.
I had always heard my dad tell this story in passing, but it was just another interesting fact about him. It was not until my freshman year that it became real to me. I would see them everywhere, and I could not help but think of my dad.
The more I saw them, the more I thought these geckos were my dad’s legacy. How would I ever match a legacy like that? But I asked him about his story again and paid more attention to the details he shared.
Never in a thousand years would my dad have thought that the handful of geckos he brought back to campus would become a population around Harding. He was being himself and doing something he enjoyed, and that stuck out to me. I do not need be someone I am not to leave a legacy, I can leave one by being myself.
In a similar way, we do not know what impact we may have in the future. A few words of encouragement may be all it takes for someone to place you in a higher regard. On the flip of the coin, a few harsh words can be enough to cause a disconnect between people. We have an impact in many things that we do, and I hope we use it for the good.
Some people may struggle with feeling that they need to leave behind a legacy, and they may try hard to make a name for themselves. But I encourage you to look past leaving a legacy and look ahead to being yourself, and that will lead to what people remember about you. Be yourself, and the memories of you will stick around.