Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to
someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to
It will not matter what you owned, or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
won't matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you
lived, at the end. It won't matter whether you were beautiful or
Even your gender and skin colour will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance, but of choice.
One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old
man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine."
The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
The people stared -- how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought? The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."
"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never
trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have
given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and
often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty
place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some
rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we
shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other
person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty
gouges -- giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are
painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these
people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have
waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"
silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old
man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a
piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old
his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old
scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It
fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man
looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever,
since love from the old man's heart flowed into his. They embraced and
walked away side by side.
GENEROSITY is other-focused.
GREED holds a tight grip.
GENEROSITY shares freely.
GREED is closefisted.
GENEROSITY is openhanded.
GREED keeps mental lists of wants.
GENEROSITY keeps mental lists of people and projects that need assistance.
-Ed Young, Reprinted from "Fatal Distractions
Love is always building up.
It puts some line of beauty on everything it touches.
It gives new hope to discouraged ones, new strength to those who are weak.
It helps the despairing to rise and start again.
It makes life seem more worthwhile to everyone into whose eyes it looks.
Its words are benedictions.