Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Professor, who died earlier this year wrote a memorable article, “How will you measure your life?’ he argued that “many of us might default to measuring out lives by summary statistics, such as number of people presided over, number of awards, or dollars accumulated in a bank, and so on, the only metrics that will truly matter to my life are the individuals whom I have been able to help, one by one, to become better people”. These, he says, are the metrics that matter in measuring one’s life.
We die twice.
Once organically, the second in memory.
Once, when the breath (prana) leaves our body (in fact interestingly it is said, the last thing before death is when the sound dies from our ears) and we die once more, when the last person who knows our name dies too.
Few of us will have the fortune to embed our name over centuries, unlike Socrates or a Jesus. Even most loved celebrities live in our hearts for a while, but soon get forgotten: a cohort say that would remember Marilyn Munroe would soon pass on and then to oblivion.
Some would be remembered for long. Elton John, says Goodbye to England’s Rose, Lady Diana:
And it seems to me you lived your life, Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset,When the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here, Along England’s greenest hills
Your candles burned out long before,Your legend ever will
Your footsteps will always fall here, Along England’s greenest hills
Your candle burned out long before your legend ever will.
Blessed are We
I would hold myself blessed if I:
- Lived my personal purpose and had the opportunity to potentialize my ‘best self’ at work or within society, and contributed to adding good.
- To have found a partner, who loved you and you loved back dearly.
- A meaningful job that allowing you an opportunity to earn your livelihood.
- A faith, that offered a high purpose to life.
Our moment on this earth is short-lived. If we viewed ‘everything we do’ from the realisation that there is no beginning, no end: then all acts would fall into perspective. In the end what is left of us is a tombstone, a marked grave, a picture in a frame, to whom friends, relatives and kith return, till memory holds true. Then with passage of time, no one returns, and the inscription merely records our name: date born, date died.
To dust thou art, and to dust thou shall return, says the bible.
What would you like to be remembered for?
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