How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Imagine that you are Tom Sawyer, able to attend your own funeral. What would you hope to see and hear from those in attendance? How would you want to be remembered?

There are at least two different reasons to think about this question.

The first is to help others that survive you after your death. If you think about — and write down in detail — what happens after you die, you can save your loved ones a lot if guesswork. Everything from what to display at your memorial service to your final resting place, from DNR orders to organ donation, you can outline your wishes.

For grieving loved ones, that effort could be very comforting. Not only would your wishes help to relieve a source of potential stress, but it is almost a way of communicating after you are gone. Your request might seem like a voice from beyond, comforting your loved ones as they deal with emotional turmoil.

Even more important, however, is how thinking about how you will be remembered will help you. Thoughts of what you hope will live on after you can help to set your priorities while you are still alive.

For example, if you want people to think of you as generous, the best way to make that happen is to increase your generosity. If you want to be remembered for being a good parent, you may want to spend more time with your children and less time at work. If you hope that you are thought of as well-read, you can achieve that by committing to reading more.

In that way, what lives on after you can be seen as a mission statement for while you are alive. Your hoped-for future self can serve as an aspiration for the current you.

Have you given any thought to what will happen after you die? Do you know if you will be buried or cremated? Can you imagine which pictures and which mementos you want people to see at your memorial service? Is there something you want to be said in eulogy? And how might the answers to these questions impact what you do today, or in the days and years ahead?

Related questions: What would you say to people in the future? Should we be concerned with legacy? Why are people afraid of death? How do you plan for the future? Burial or cremation?

 

How Do You Serve Others?

For some people, serving others  is a noble endeavor, and helps provide motivation for living. How do you serve others?

In the United States, a mythology has sprung up around the notion of being independent, like “individual’s rights” and “personal freedoms”. The idea of living your life in support of others is not something talked about as much, but it happens just as frequently.

The experience most have in this regard is family connection. For example, once someone becomes a parent, then suddenly priorities shift. Your time, effort, and money (and sleep!) are sacrificed for your child or children. Even beyond children, you may well feel an obligation to your parents, your siblings, or even members of your extended family.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Are we too busy?’


But for some, serving others can go well beyond family obligations. There are many people who have chosen a public service career, from police and firefighters, to teachers and educators. Politicians, at local, state, or national levels are public servants.

Even people who work in the private sector often do so with the intention of improving the lives of others in some way.

Churches of most religions and denominations serve the public in various ways. Many holy texts speak extensively about the importance of serving others, particularly those less fortunate.

What about you? What do you do, in your daily life, to serve others? Are there ways in which your intentions are different from your actions? How might you change your life to provide better service for your community or the public in general?

Related questions: What expectations do you have of others? How do you depend on others? Protecting yourself or protecting others? What are our responsibilities to others?

Parents Or Grandparents?

When you were young, did you enjoy time with your parents or your grandparents more? If you are older, do you enjoy be a grandparent more than being a parent?

Share why if you wish.

Parents Or Grandparents?