How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

ken shuman

My two kids – photo by Ken Shuman

When I was a sophomore in high school, Brother Tom Pearson made us write our obituary. At the time, I thought this was very morbid. I didn’t understand the point of the assignment.  But, as I pressed on, it became pretty cool. It made me think about my future, what I wanted to be known for and how I wanted to be remembered.

I don’t remember everything I included in my obituary but I do remember saying I was leaving behind a loving wife, kids and grand kids. (Actually that would be the only thing I imagine would be the same if I went through the exercise of writing my obituary again.)

Now that I am a dad and I am 37 years old, I see the world very differently than my 15 year old self.  I want my children to see me as a hard working guy that is successful in my chosen field. I want them to be proud of my involvement in Poptism and I want them to be part of a loving and caring family. I also want them to have a sense of adventure and the curiosity to go out and travel and see this big world we live in.

Whether we realize it or not, we are our children’s #1 role model.  We can’t turn this switch on and off. We can’t only be their role model when we feel it is good for us.

Personally, this is a good thing.

This does not mean we can’t ever screw up. We are human and we will screw up. How we handle these screw ups, and how we explain them to our children is part of being a good role model as well.

On Father’s Day, I plan to take some time and think about how I want to be remembered. I may not write my obituary because I still find that to be a little bit morbid but I hope this exercise will help me set a great path for the next 20, 30, 40 years of my life.


One thought on “How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

  • Stephen Covey had a really nice take on this. Instead of an obituary (or someone reading your eulogy), imagine its your 80th birthday and your loved ones have all gathered to throw you a big party and they all give a little speech about you and how you have impacted their lives. Will they just say “he worked hard and was always really nice” or will they go on about how you lived life to the fullest and inspired them to become the people they are today. Powerful stuff to be sure. Thanks for the post, it got me thinking again.

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