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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Never be forgotten

Live for something. Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storm of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love, and mercy, on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year; you will never be forgotten.
No, your name, your deeds, will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the stars on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven.
When I'm in the depths of sorrow and can only see darkness, I often wonder whether my having been on this earth will have mattered at all; whether anyone will remember me with fondness; whether anyone will consider their lives just a little better for my having been in it. And when I feel like I'm drowning in the sea of misery and self-pity, the only answer that resonates in my heart is "NO."

However, although there is always a hint of lingering sadness in my heart, I am not currently wallowing in "the pit of despair." And this quote spoke to me. Certainly, having children would have given me some manner of a legacy. But, why is that one the only one that should count?  Despite what anyone says or thinks, I know, in my heart of hearts that I make a concerted effort each and every day to be kind to the people I encounter; to be compassionate and loving and generous. Now, I'm not saying, by any stretch of the imagination, that I won't curse the person who cut me off in traffic or mentally wring the neck of some narcisistic fool. I am concious of my shortcomings and I try daily to overcome them. But I try. I try hard. I help those I can with what I have, for the sake of helping.  I make an effort to show love and compassion, even to those who are so hard to love. I endeavor not to harm anyone, if I can prevent it (human or not...critters are people, too!). So, doesn't that count for something? Because my mind is not clouded by anguish, I can say yes... it does count.

I don't expect that when I die there will be any monuments in my name. No one will likely follow my family lineage or cherish the trinkets I leave behind after I am gone.  But those whose hearts I touch, whether they know me or not, are changed because of me... even if only in some very small way. The same goes for all of us.

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