How do you want to be remembered?
I had the rare privilege of meeting recently with a spunky, attractive woman who is over 100 years old.
My mind couldn't quite grasp all that she has seen and experienced. From World War I to World War II and the Holocaust, through Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. The birth of the state of Israel, the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Intifada... And the inventions or more common usage of planes, cars, movies, phones, televisions, computers, cell phones, DVD's...The medical breakthroughs, the scientific discoveries...
I couldn't resist asking, "What was the most interesting thing of all?"
Her answer shocked me.
The "most interesting" of all, the definitive moment of this beautiful elderly woman (the oldest human being I have ever met) was when she caught her husband and her best friend together.
A lifetime of over 100 years and this is the most significant memory. All that counts is the personal.
It's a sobering thought. Certainly what the Almighty remembers us for is our actions, particularly those towards our fellow human beings. It seems that's what people remember also.
If we build many tall buildings but our children despise us, our memory will not be a blessing. If we discover the cure for a catastrophic disease but treat our colleagues like dirt, our accomplishments will be compromised.
If we accumulate wealth but don't share it, we probably won't be remembered at all.
If we're successful in business but destroy our marriages or our children, it'll all be for naught.
Imagine: 100 years. She saw the dreams of many become a reality. She saw movements rise and fall, countries come and go. She has literally "seen it all."
But one scene remains strong and vibrant. It's a powerful lesson for everyone. The Almighty gives each one of us the chance to write our own script, to create an individual legacy. Let's choose the plot wisely.