How do you want to be remembered?


Grab life by the …

… so, boys and girls, following on from the previous post, let me ask: how do you want to be remembered?

In my days as an academic, I recall sitting on the Student Progress Committee (which was of course the student lack-of-progress committee). It was disheartening to hear a student who had failed to achieve a satisfactory standard say that he (more often a he than a she) had worked very hard. He could not seem to grasp that either he was not doing something effectively, or that he was personally or intellectually ill-suited to the course. It was much more refreshing to hear a student say that he was enjoying life too much to bother with anything as trivial as studying. (Let me say at this point that in my first year at University I managed only a third class result, so I know what I’m talking about. The really irritating people, of course, are those who do no work but yet come out with top marks. Or maybe it’s that they say they do no work …).

Anyhoo, extending this argument, given that Divine forgiveness is infinite (and the Bible says it is, so it must be true) and you’re going to be forgiven anyway, you might as well sin spectacularly, rather than commit some trifling little offence.  Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

‘Can he be serious?’ you may ask. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not.  Martin Luther was presumably being serious when he wrote: ‘be a sinner, and let your sins be strong’ and went on to explain how this works. I won’t bore you with the explanation, but will say that one of the ways I read this is: be bold. Take risks. Be fearless. We will get some things wrong and some things will work out. Better surely to have given life your all than simply to have sat quivering in the corner through fear. Make the best of what you’ve got. If you’ve got it, flaunt it—so long as the it you have is intended as an agent of delight. We need to be ready to fail. Like a child learning to walk, long strides come from short stumbles.  Grab life by the little round things in your efforts to bring delight to the world.

Just as I dislike the almost universal replacement of  ‘can I help you?’ by ‘are you OK?’ and of ‘thank you’ by ‘cheers’, so I dislike hearing ‘take care’ used as a farewell. It’s not ‘take care’, it’s ‘take risks’.

I think that’s how I’d like to be remembered.

1 thought on “How do you want to be remembered?

  1. Pingback: Smells like festive spirit… « The Irresponsible Traveller

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