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A Life that Matters

For each of us eventually, whether we are ready or not, some day life will come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things we collected whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else. Our wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what we owned or owed, our grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too, our hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where we came from or on what side of the tracks we lived at the end. It won’t matter if we are beautiful or brilliant. Even our gender and skin color will be irrelevant. So what will matter? How will the value of our days be measured? What will matter is not what we bought but what we built, not what we got but what we gave. What will matter is not our success but our significance. What will matter is not what we learned but what we taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate our example. What will matter is not our competence but our character. What will matter is not how many people we knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when we’re gone. What will matter are not our memories but the memories that live in those who loved us. What will matter is how long we’ll be remembered by whom and for what. A life lived that matters is not of circumstance but a choice. ... Anonymous