Today is President’s Day in the USA. It’s a day when we remember all the presidents who came before, who made tough decisions, were willing to do their best to lead, men who were willing to be the face of a nation. No, none of them were perfect, and for each I’m sure someone could come up with more than one thing they each did wrong, and each of them probably would tell you that there was something in their life and presidency that they wished they had done differently or better, after all hindsight is 20-20. But they can’t change what the past is, and neither can we. We all leave a legacy when we die, it’s up to us to choose whether we leave a legacy we’re proud of or leave our legacy to chance.
I’ve mentioned before that the New York Times includes a few obituaries in every daily email update they send out. Countless people are dying each day, some seemingly before their time, people we’re sorry we lose so soon, others we’re sorry we lose even though they’ve lived a long and amazing life. We don’t usually have a choice of when or how we die, we only have the choice in how we live our lives. So the question is, who or what would you like to be remembered as?
Ironically, many of the things we pursue in life are not things we would want to be remembered for, or seem empty to be remembered through, like having the same job for our whole lives, having lots of money or living a really long time. Very few deathbed confessions have shared gratitude in how much money they had or the job they worked. No, most people are more apt to discuss the family they’re leaving, the life they’ve enjoyed or the mistakes they regret. So what will your choice be? What do you want to be remembered as?
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.” Rosa Parks