How Do You Want to be Remembered?

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

With the passing of popular 70’s starlet & Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett, and sudden death of  Michael Jackson, it is interesting to read, watch and listen to reactions. Both of these popular icons lives were filled with incredible success and tragedy. Farrah’s publicized fight with cancer and MJ’s legal and personal problems marked the end of two incredible journeys. Both passed the same day. But, how will they be remembered?  Will Farrah be remembered for her famous haircut and poster or for her amazing fight with cancer?  Will MJ be remembered as a boy star then the King of Pop or for his troubling legal battles?

How do you want to be remembered?

A couple of years ago, I attended a funeral of a simple man. He worked in a grocery store all of his life. He started out as a bag boy and over his career he advanced into management of the location. It and of itself, that part of the story is not extraordinary. But here is the rest of the story. For his entire work life at the grocery story, this simple man was determined to help people, give everyone a pleasant smile, thank them for shopping and made all of the customers he encountered feel welcome. Over the years he developed real relationships with his customers, knew them by name and did everything he could do to give a great shopping experience at this local grocery store.  One day, after a long battle with cancer the man’s life ended. I had the opportunity to attend this man’s funeral. I was amazed to find that at the funeral for this simple man gathered over 1500 people to pay their respects. Not just family, friends and friends of family but hundreds of customers and people this man had helped, smiled and been kind to over the years.

The deaths of two famous people yesterday caused me to pause and remember this humble man’s funeral. No, he was not a movie star a pop star or a cultural phenomena. He was a good decent man who in his small world made a difference and effected people in a positive way. In allot of ways, this man was just as successful as the stars that passed yesterday.

It is interesting how we reflect at times like these on how others will remember us after we leave this life. The equation seems to be very simple. The quality of how you are remembered is the direct effect on what you do during your life and how you impact the people you deal with. If your impact is negative, sad as it seems, I believe you will be remembered that way. If your impact is positive, again I believe you will be remembered that way. Please take note I said nothing about the size and scope of your impact. You can be remembered just a fondly as the before mentioned man and have only a handful pay their respects.

So let’s all do something, if only for a little while…Let’s treat others as we would like to be treated. Go out of your way today to be helpful. Show courtesy to everyone you contact and give them a smile.

You never know, if you always do this till the day you pass you just might be remembered as someone who really made a difference.

5 Responses

  1. Donald James Parker Says:

    Excellent post. When you started the story of the grocery store, I thought maybe you were involved with a story from South Dakota. A similar thing happened here recently. The difference was the man whose funeral attracted so many people was brain impaired. The Bible says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. People who are considered big shots on earth might be either little shots in Heaven or else languishing in Hell. However that does not preclude a person from succeeding on Earth while seeking the kingdom. We as humans need to get the correct perspective on what greatness truly is.
    Donald James Parker
    Author of All the Voices of the Wind

  2. Antje Wilsch Says:

    Well, this is a topic I feel passionately about. I work for StoryOfMyLife and I like to tell this story about when I was visiting some distant relatives and the 13 year old girl called out from her computer “Hey Dad, I didn’t know you were arrested (for something stupid).” Dad, confused, looked at the computer to find it was a different guy but about the same age & similar looking in their younger years with the exact same name.

    My point: there is a lot of information about you out there. Since the explosion of the digital era, we all have an obligation now to leave something behind so that our future ancestors know who we are. And we should at least participate if not control that message – why leave it up to the search engines???

    Antje Wilsch
    writer, developer
    http://www.storyofmylife.com

  3. Greg Says:

    Thank you. Very simply, thank you.

  4. Linder Says:

    Great article. Just had to point out this spelling mistake “In allot of ways,” – should be ‘a lot’ not ‘allot’

  5. Bruce Says:

    Excellent post. When you started the story of the grocery store, I thought maybe you were involved with a story from South Dakota. A similar thing happened here recently. The difference was the man whose funeral attracted so many people was brain impaired. The Bible says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. People who are considered big shots on earth might be either little shots in Heaven or else languishing in Hell. However that does not preclude a person from succeeding on Earth while seeking the kingdom. We as humans need to get the correct perspective on what greatness truly is.
    Donald James Parker
    Author of All the Voices of the Wind

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