How do you want to be remembered?

Posted: February 6, 2021 by Ty in Spirituality
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All to often we let the day to day needs for survival (whether it is actual needs or wants being driven to be filled, and the socio-econimic/psychological discussion around this component of what is colloquially called the “Rat Race” can be explored later). We focus on entitlements in our world designed to keep people out of help, rather than looking at our taxes, and the funds to aid those in need be specifically and easily accessed by those in need when needed (and then leverage our Canada Revenue Service at the other end to deal with the fraud or any income overruns). That has been exposed in c-tine as many have now had to access the system of government entitlements (whether montly stipens, grants or other aides) and realizing what the neo-liberalist conservative world has built. In some sectors, under the faux guise of a cross or crucifix. Yet at each turn, with many left behind, we have celebrated our public servants. Yet, we have believed that what matters more than anything is debit and credit columns on a budget spread sheet, not the person in front of us, regardless of the challenges/barriers/blessings in their life, has intrinsic value.

Intrinsic value, simply because they are human. No matter how you reach that truth- through religion, spirituality, ethics, morality, politics, science or all of the above. Yet, it does leave us a question then what does matter?

Why does this matter?

Think of who you are. How you exist in the world. The world does not have to be the globe (yes, flat earthers, it is a globe/sphere), but can be as small as the communities you live and work in. Think of how you introduce yourself. What are the things that you include in your introduction? Is it labels? Is it roles? Volunteer work? Paid work? Education levels? Family ties? Where you came from? Where you live? What you believe in? What your core values are? Hobbies? Interests? Political leanings? Religious affiliations? Does where you are asked to introduce yourself shift the introduction? What pieces of you does society view as having value to share? Is it true?

Why does this matter?

It speaks, much like how we qualify to access the social safety net, how we place value on one’s life, and our own. Are we simply human capital in the capitalist economic enterprise? Are we simply the good we can do in the world? Or the harm we have or may cause? It becomes harder to understand, especially in moment to moment life where the ground underneath us can feel like it is constantly shifting. It raises the importance of ongoing reflective practice. It is about understanding who we are, and in the still quiet moments, understanding that there is an ideal self we can attain and a journey to become, but also, there is the ideal self we are in the here and now living and being our life based on experience and the professional and personal circles of support around us.

But how to reflect, every so often it is good to think long game. What do we want to be remembered for. Some will point to death markers like tombstones and point to the dash between dates and ask “what does the dash represent?” In other words, what happened in the time on earth? For, I will be honest, with each death I do reflect on my beliefs around death, during c-tine there has been 8 that I know of in my circles. All I know for sure is there is a continuation to our story, but what that looks like. Well, as the old joke goes, I am sure when I reach that new prologue, and meet the greeter, and discover, I will spend the first chapter laughing about what was held to be true in the here and now.

But I digress. See in preparation for ministry or monasticism or life coaching, there is the reflective practice of writing your own obituary. Distilling down what you will be remembered for into less that 100 words (they are expensive to print); in other human services fields in academics as you progress there is the practice of writing one’s own eulogy. Same sort of thing, but the ability to be more verbose, and expose life goals laid out. Maybe this is why my goals have always been so simple, centered on making my own corner of the world a better place, and being a voice for those without…perhaps it is due to the reflective exercise and the conciseness of the nature I was given in the formation of book 1 of my life.

Yet, as I would encourage these exercises for you, they can be a tad morbid during a world wide pandemic with so much death around us. Instead, take time to think, of what it will be like to turn 100 years old. A milestone where the Queen, Governor General, Prime Minister (and if you’re Roman Catholic, Pope) will send you greetings. A time to celebrate all that you have experienced over this life. As I have been blessed to be a part of a few of these momentous occassions, media also comes to interview. Features are written. Short 250 word pieces, with pictures of your school days. Take time to curate this, what picture from your grade school or trade school or post-secondary would be used? Maybe one from your very first work day? Or day as….

Then…what do those 250 words say. Who are you in the life ahead? What is the true core you that will be celerbated? That will inspire others?

Does it resemble anything that is used for our maudlin introductions in the here and now? Or do we completely miss the mark?

My guess, and experience…we miss the mark.

Because our ideal self is now. Our ideal self is becoming.

250 words on who you are at 100 years old?

Who is the true you?

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