How often do you look back, really reflect on what you’ve done? The insignificance of it all. Pointless arguments, inside jokes, funny haircuts.
But do you ever wonder how you will be remembered? Or if what you’ve done and what you’re doing means anything at all? What will your song sound like when you’re dead and gone? Will tears fall when the last note is sung? And how will your story be told? Will your words leave a bitter taste in their mouths? Or will they even remember you at all?
Compassion: the concept is rather simple. Most know what it means to be civil. But there truly is a fine line between sweet and sour. Give too much of yourself away and you’ll be all used up. Not enough that no one will be around to share this with.
So what is it that motivates us? To be better, gentler, more refined? I like to think it’s those close to us, close to the heart and soul. Those who carried you to the car after you puked on their shoes. Those who took the blame for breaking the window when it was you who cast the stone. Those who will be by your side when reality knocks on your door both good and bad. But more importantly, those whose stories you will share with your kids and grandkids and their kids and their grandkids in hopes to somehow keep this all alive.
Chivalry, decency, kindness, compassion, desire, strength… How will you be remembered?”
– John O’Callaghan
As I near the end of my career as an undergraduate, and the close of another chapter of my life looms, I have been thinking about what it means to be remembered. For some, their legacy will persist in the impact they made on their academic community. For others, they will leave their mark in their school affiliation. Some will go on to contribute greatly to the institute as a whole, and become important figures in the history of their school and its own legacy.
For me, though, I think I will close this door behind me having made a very small impact on the big picture; my impact, I hope, will come rather from the ties that I have made and will follow me wherever I go. The people I have come to love (you know who you are), the lessons I have learned, and the experiences that I have gained, both good and bad. The losses that I have felt, and the success that has kept me thriving. The memories that I’ve made. And I think that’s enough for me, for now 🙂