ViewPoints by Dr. T
The Legacy You Leave
One thing in life that is indisputable is the fact that one day we will pass away and someone somewhere will be measuring us by the life we lived and by the impact we had on others whether good, troche try bad or indifferent. Do you have a reputation that you can be proud of or that those who know you best would be honored by? The truth is, given the social media age in which we live, and the way life’s most mundane moments are daily documented and disseminated instantly throughout the worldwide web via Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, the impressions that we leave can easily come back to bite us in the butt or haunt those we leave behind. You can run but you cannot hide or deny the things you have said or done when those words and actions have been abundantly recorded on film, tape, video, or with a “selfie stick.”
Some may say, “What do I care? I’ll be gone!” If you truly embrace that general feeling, then you probably have not lived a life in service to others or integrated your life with the lives of others. Instead, you have chosen to deny yourself one of the valuable experiences of human connection and participation within the community of humankind. An old African proverb says that the most important days of a man’s life are the day he is born and the day he figures out why. Some people live their whole life without ever considering what purpose they were here on earth to fulfill? If you have had the privilege to walk the earth, how has your life actually mattered? It’s a question that must be asked, and if we aren’t brave enough to ask it of ourselves then it will surely be asked and answered by others once we are gone. To rise with the dawn of each new day knowing that you have a reason to live, that your living is not in vain, but rather, the fact that you live matters to someone somewhere is an essential ingredient in life. The impact that your life has adds value to the life that you live.
In the last weeks, we lost some iconic individuals and in considering their loss we begin to examine the contributions that they made to the world and to us all. Their deaths make us hold time still as we remember their lives and the legacy that they have left us. One such individual is Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest.” He was not only the 3 time Heavy Weight Champion of the World; he was far more than that. Muhammad Ali was a force, an inspiration and a hope to a people who needed to be inspired. He was powerful beyond the boxing ring because he was a man of unquestioned integrity and courage at a great cost and considerable personal sacrifice. Muhammad Ali fought for us all when it was hard to fight, when fighting meant the loss of financial gain and an undermining of the accomplishments he made. He fought for those who could not fight for themselves and spoke out against injustice, poverty and war at a time when those sentiments were extremely unpopular and personally dangerous. He was a Champion and we are truly grateful for the legacy he has left us. He was one of a kind. He was The Greatest! And he lived his life with extraordinary purpose. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali has paid his rent in Full.
Up Next Week: This is NOT Reality-TV…it’s Reality