When You Leave a Room
Have you noticed that the better you become, the less you think about your physical self? I’ve been hearing from folks who report that they are losing more weight than ever and it is much easier than ever. However, they are all amazed that the weight loss is not nearly as important as the life they are gaining.
Today I’d like you to look at your life through the following question; how do you want to be remembered?
I’m not talking about the kind of remembering folks do after you are dead and gone; I mean the kind of memory that lingers after you leave a room. What would you like to be known for? I have asked this question of friends and of possible suitors (okay, I’m getting old,) and I’m always amazed by the answers. Folks tend to pause; giving the question just enough thought to find their meaning and then suddenly they see their answer.
“I’d like to be known as a classy guy.” One man told me. I waited for something more and when it didn’t come, I asked, if that was all. He said that was all, he wanted to be seen as that classy guy from the old movies. Another man once told me that he just wanted to be known as a nice guy. I thought that this was sweet but still wondered if this was all that folks aspire to.
I spent a week asking this question and learned that the answer was not something we tend to give much thought; as a result we don’t give it much practice.
We spend a great deal of our lives seeking to impress others. My mother used to say, “Folks who need to be impressed haven’t done anything impressive.” Instead of trying to impress others, why not seek to inspire them?
I began to look for my own answer and found that my desire was to have my presence felt as someone who inspired others to do for someone else. I’d really like it if when I left a room, people suddenly felt inspired to touch someone else’s life but didn’t even know why. I want to live my life so well, that when I die everyone I’ve known or touched suddenly feels compelled to do for someone else.
What do you want to be known for? What are you known for now? When you leave a room do people sigh in relief or do they smile with the joy of knowing that they have been touched?
How do children think of you? Do they see you as helpful, funny, wise or oddly inappropriate? Do you inspire them to be better or do you criticize them leaving them feeling less than themselves?
Today, imagine that a part of you stays behind observing what others feel about you. What do you inspire? Begin to practice the legacy you are leaving.
Be you, be well, Be the impression.
Bertice Berry, PhD.
photo by Ashley Lee--critical care nurse