“I don’t want my life to be defined by what is etched on a tombstone. I want it to be defined in what is etched in the lives and hearts of those I’ve touched.” ~ Steve Maraboli …
I have never really thought about what I may like to see etched on my tombstone, but is what I have etched on a slab of stone really that important? For Steve, it is not. And I have to really ask myself: Is defining my life by the words on my headstone just my way of increasing the importance of my life? And moreover, who will find value in my life if it was defined merely by those words?
It is easy to pay a specified amount of money to have something etched on a tombstone, or even a billboard or signage, however, it will have little meaning outside of those who are affected by it. Therefore, if we wish for our lives to have a deeper meaning and purpose that extends beyond just ourselves, it is essential that we live our lives in ways that allow us to make a difference in the lives of others. This is the most permanent and defining way we can give value and meaning to our lives and to everything that we do–to “etch in the lives and hearts of those we touch.” In doing so, we will write the chapters of our book in their hearts, and it will live on in them and in those whose hearts they touch.
Life is a journey. I want to live it passionately. I wish to share that passion with those who walk with me, as well as with those I encounter along the way. And on the day I die, I want my life defined by what I have contributed to making other’s lives easier and more fulfilling. If I am able to someday look back and find that I have accomplished this, I will know that my life had great meaning and purpose.
Make the effort to positively affect the lives and hearts of others today.
Questions to consider:
Can we live our lives in service to others? What would that truly involve?
In what ways can you touch the lives of others?
What are the benefits or repercussions on your immortal soul if you die having saved a lot of wealth, power, or fame for yourself? What about if you die having saved a lot of heartaches for others?
For further thought:
“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman