I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
The wise words of world-renowned author and poet Maya Angelou resonate within my soul today more than they ever have. Few things cause you to think about life the way death does. I’ll never understand it’s finality. One moment you can be talking with a loved one. The next moment they can be out of your lives forever. Some people are afraid of it. Some people could care less when it happens. And some people prepare for it and live their lives with eternity in mind. I pray that I am the latter. I think it was in the movie “Gladiator” with actor Russell Crowe who said, “What you do today echos in eternity.” The purpose of this blog is to spark something within you to make you think about every aspect of your life and how you influence the people around you.
Do you ignore the person sitting by themselves every day at your job or school? Do you seek to get to know someone who doesn’t seem to have friends? Do you treat ALL people with respect? Do you show concern for those who are hurting or are in need? These are the things that matter. These are the things that people will remember. When my life is over, and one day it will be over, I pray that people say things like, “Jenia made me feel like I could accomplish anything.” I hope they say, “Jenia was a woman of faith and she carried me when my burden was too heavy.” Or, “Jenia was genuinely concerned about my well being.”
When it’s all said and done, nothing else matters. No one will care about what you posted on Instagram or Facebook. No one will care what neighborhood you lived in or what kind of car you drove. No one will mention the clothes you wore or the shoes you chose to put on. What they will remember though, is how they were treated. They’ll remember the smile they needed when they were having a hard day. They’ll remember that you took the time to listen to their story. They will remember your sincerity, your generosity, your kindness, your faithfulness and your heart for people.
Let it not be said of me that I was uncaring or unkind or stingy or fake. God, I pray, that the legacy I leave will transcend time and will be heard throughout eternity and in generations that follow after me. Let it be said of me that I showed the love of Christ in every situation. And if I failed, that I did my best to make it right. No, I can’t please everyone but as long as God is pleased with my life I pray that I’ll hear those words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21 ASV )
As you read this blog, consider the questions asked and examine your heart and your life today. Tomorrow is not promised. Make every effort to be good to people regardless of how they treat you. Be the bigger person in every situation. Do the right thing at all times and not just when people are looking. Live a life of integrity and high character. These words will fall on deaf ears for some, but for others who are taking in what I’m saying, there is no better day than today.
The pictures I’ve shown are of people leaving their mark on others lives. I can guarantee these people will never forget the kindness being shown to them. I can guarantee their stories will be heard over and over again. I think this is what leaving a legacy looks likes.