The World Without Me

Because I am, what my wife calls, a deep thinker I sometimes think about things that are not safe or cannot be answered simply.  Deep thinkers are those tortured souls who have given us beautiful art, music, books, theater, plays, and movies, to name a few.  We consider them to be individuals who think outside the box.  They don’t march to the same drummer everyone else does.  They go against the grain.  To that extent, I match the pattern, as this posting will prove.

I would like for you, for just a few moments, ponder the question, “What will the world be like when I’m gone?”

Of course, there are those who love us, despite our apparent flaws and failures.  And, they will be devastated, grieved, and sad at our departure.  Then there will be those who, although they would never admit it publicly, might even be glad at our departure.

But, there is something deeper than these things.  Something lasting that our lives will influence, even beyond our short appearance on this earth.  I’m not talking about creating a great work of art, or writing a book, or building a bridge, or carving Mount Rushmore.  I’m talking about the influence you have on the lives who come into contact with you, and upon whom you will leave a lasting mark on.  For the individuals who are changed by our having past their way, may pass on a small piece to others, and those to others, to the extent we may ultimately be surprised just what our short life has produced.

But, let’s be honest.  Your passing will not stop the world.  Chances are good they will not shutdown Wall Street, and they probably won’t fly flags at half-staff.  There will probably not be a moment of silence in Congress because they are laying you to rest.  Chances are good most things will go on just as they are, except in those areas and places where you had a direct influence.  Sure, there will be lives that are touched by your passing, and some will be deeply moved and grieved, but for the most part the world will not stand still to memorialize the occasion.

But, this doesn’t mean your life has been worthless or lacked meaning.  In fact, it is probably a good bet your life meant more than you might ever have imagined.  Wouldn’t it be a surprise to find out that what mattered most about our life was not what we thought?  Wouldn’t it be a surprise to find out it was the little things that mattered the most?  You know, the little things we didn’t even take notice of.  The smile.  The handshake.  The pat on the back.  The word of encouragement.  A simple text message.  Helping someone across the street.  Defending someone who cannot defend themselves.  Standing up for someone or something that was worth fighting for.  Loaning money, when there was little chance of ever receiving a return?  What if you will be remembered for those things?

What about the individual who was going to commit suicide, but didn’t, because you said something or did something that made them change their mind?  What about the person that was ready to give up on God, but you said or did something that changed their mind?

Ultimately, we all will take our place in history.  And, yes, to some degree even be forgotten.  But, there will always be those things we said or did, that will be remembered far beyond this mortal existence.  But, let’s be clear – it’s not about being a great person, or making grand speeches depicting our magnificent accomplishments.  No – it’s about being real.  And what greater accomplishment could we achieve than simply that – being real?

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One Response to “The World Without Me”

  1. beamcguire@gmail.com Says:

    I loved this blog and it gives one a lot to ponder! We often think we are not accomplishing anything in life but when I read all the “unimportant things” that seem so simply…hey….we can do things like that everyday so thank you for reminding me that it is the “little things” in life that matter! As always…blessings!

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