Being Remembered January 4, 2010Posted by Chuck Musciano in Random Musings.
During lunch with a friend last month, she noted that everyone dies two deaths. Intrigued, I asked her to explain. The first, she noted, was the physical death that we will all encounter. The second, however, occurs the last time your name is spoken. After that point, you are truly dead and forgotten.
What a concept! It immediately brings to mind those timeless names that will never die, those rare few that have had an eternal impact on our lives and society. But it also leads us to reflect on the billions whose names have slipped into obscurity, and whose impact, however large or small, has stopped reverberating in this world.
This idea was brought into sharper focus for me last week when I learned of the death of Tim Hartselle, with whom I worked many years ago. I’ve written before about Tim here, but did not mention him by name. Tim once worked for me as a Unix administrator. He wasn’t very good at Unix but found great success in email administration. I often tell Tim’s story as an example of how seemingly difficult circumstances (losing his dream job of being a Unix admin) can lead to unexpected success in ways you never imagined.
Tim was a great, gentle man, with a ready smile and a sincere heart. His first death came at 47, way too early. So I mention his name here to do my part in forestalling his second passing. If you ever need a story that demonstrates success borne of adversity, you may wish to use Tim’s name as well, extending that second demise.
It may seem odd to start a new year on such a somber note, but I prefer to see the opportunity that is presented. With a fresh year spread before us, what will you do to make your name memorable? I’m not thinking of notorious fame, either criminal or celebrity, but the kind of fame borne of doing good things on a continuous basis.
Most of us start the year pledging to lose weight, exercise more, and to cultivate more good habits than bad. Most of those resolutions fall by the wayside, even with the best of intentions. This year, take a different tack. Resolve to do things this year in such a way that your name will be remembered, long after you are gone. Being remembered, in a good way, may yield a better year than any other resolution you can make.