Years ago I found a sweet picture at an estate sale that I fell in love with. A man & woman from the 1800s leaning into each other and heads touching ever so slightly. Sadly, the estate owner had no concrete information about who these two people were -- he said that it was possible the man had been involved with Sacramento baseball and that I could have the pic for $5.
The picture hangs in our guest bedroom and always brings me a smile. It also reminds me of how short our time is here on this planet. Can't imagine that these two lived for more than 60 or 70 years and very possible that no one today even remembers them OR DO THEY?
Is it possible I own a pic of a couple that lived their lives with grace, joy and dignity. A couple who chose to live a life filled with justice, kindness and honesty. The kind of couple whose great-great-great-great grand-children would still be told stories of their generosity, warmth and compassion.
Or do I own the pic of a couple who were so wrapped in life's fears, pains, sorrows that all they ever did was complain, wallow in self-pity and live such "small" lives that they spent their time in gossip, judging others and greedily hanging on to their earthly possessions. The type of people who are easily forgotten shortly after their deaths.
Clearly, most people live somewhere between the two extremes of "sainthood" and complete "jerks" but am I making my point.? Life is not about "retracting" into our selves - protecting our egos, hoarding our possessions, and withdrawing our talents from the world. A life fully lived is about going outward - sharing, giving, letting our talents shine. Retreating into ourselves is extremely lonely.
So often we are wrapped up in the fear of our own mortality that we forget that legacy is more important and more long-standing. How we make other people feel is what and how they will remember us.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SAY ABOUT YOU AT YOUR FUNERAL? Take time to think about that question - it will help you to define your true values and help you set a path for what truly makes you content in life.