Countless people have said “live each day as if it were your last” and “live life to the fullest.” These sayings have a good deal of merit and are powerful in their own ways. They are inspiring words that make you not want to let life pass you by (another saying). For some words like these can cause an awakening that inspires an individual break away from the chains of the day-to-day and get out into the world and live a little.
For the last few years I, however, have tried to live by the idea of living my life as I would like to be remembered. The key word here is tried. I have not been as successful at exploring this personal mandate as I would like to be. Living how you’d like to be remembered is a lot more difficult than it sounds. If you want to be remembered as a great friend, spouse, sibling, or parent then you have to do great things. You have to be a good listener, an energetic parent, an attentive partner. It’s hard to do such great people-centered things when you are exhausted from long days at work, long commutes, short nights and early mornings. What’s more, the weekends taunt you to fill them with fun and exciting things, plus catch up on chores, and as a result often become as busy and tiring as a workday.
Still, I think I can make greater strides toward my goal of living my life as I would like to be remembered. I can spend more quality time with the people I love. I can be a more romantic and attentive husband. I can choose a career path that fulfills me and in return helps others. I can be more charitable. But, after watching the MJ memorial I think the priority at the top of my list of priorities will be to be remembered by my son as a great dad. When I am gone at 100 and my son is a young 76, I want him to say that I was a great father during his childhood, and a good friend in our old age.
I’ve always thought the legacy of how we’re remembered trumps any accomplishment we perform while we’re here.