Have you ever given any thought as to how you want to be remembered after you’re gone?
Listening to the memories that people shared at my father-in-law’s visitation and funeral got me to thinking about what people would say at my funeral. While that seems a bit morbid on the surface, and thinking about my own funeral is not something I dwell on, it was good to reflect on how our actions speak so loudly in how we are remembered.
Many of the memories shared were not about specific conversations, but about the way Kenny made them feel welcome when they visited, or about watching how he cared for my mother-in-law in her advanced stages of multiple sclerosis, or about things he did to help them out of a tight spot. It wasn’t his words, but his actions and attitude that left an impression.
I came across this quote from Oliver Goldsmith while working on a communications presentation. “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.”
So, how do you want to be remembered?
In our daily interactions with others, are you treating them in a way that will leave positive impressions, or negative ones? Will they remember you fondly, or will they leave feeling hurt?
We can choose how we treat others in every single conversation we have, whether it takes place at the grocery store, at church, at school events, on Facebook, on Twitter, on our blogs, or wherever. The attitude you bring into the conversation will leave an impression, good or bad.
While words may not be what is remembered the most, they can convey an attitude. Using negative adjectives to describe people who don’t share your opinion isn’t the best way to sway their opinion of you or your cause.
When advocating for agriculture, or for a cause close to your heart, it is easy to get lost in the emotions of a conversation. These situations can make or break how others will see you, or how they value your opinions in the future. How will you be remembered after an interaction with someone who has a different opinion than you do?
My challenge to you is the same as my own challenge. Be someone that others want to know because you make them feel good about themselves. Treat others in such a way that they will remember you fondly as you go.
“If you go out looking for friends, you will find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you will find them everywhere.” – Zig Ziglar