I started thinking about my obituary this morning, not in a morbid way, of course, but in a reflective and proactive way. When I reflect on the lives of my ancestors and painfully recognize the injustices they faced, they taught us how to persevere amid persecutions, and work diligently to make things better not bitter for others. They taught us how to be fruitful and to multiply productively and respectfully, especially in heated challenges.
I don’t want to be remembered for how much money I have or the fabulous things I may buy. I don’t want to be remembered by my superficial possessions or a reckless speech. I want to be remembered as the warrior who fought for justice, awareness, education, helped to elevate people who need help, and be a catalyst for equality for all. I want to be remembered by what I gave unselfishly, decently, and genuinely using the tools, gifts, and talents God blessed me with and helped me develop.
On Friday, July 17, 2020, two more prominent Civil Rights leaders passed away, Congressman John Lewis and Rev. C. T. Vivian. These individuals were part of a greater purpose, a greater good, one that they courageously fought (what John Lewis called “Good Trouble”) as they faced an opposition supported by a deep demonic presence with a corruptible spirit. They fought for justice, equality with dignity, although they were brutally beaten, bloodied, and bullied.
Why didn’t they simply be quiet and look out for themselves? Because their life’s purpose was greater than them. Their living was not in vain because they were part of the influence to continue to fight for what is right, not for a few but all people. They were among the great fighters who stood for justice and stood against injustice, no matter how beaten down they were. They will be remembered for their bravery, for their commitment to uplift the weak and lowly and to fight systemic corruption. They stood for something bigger than themselves.
Our time on earth is limited. We don’t know the day or hour when we will make our transition. Yet as long as there is breath in our bodies, we still have time to make adjustments to our life’s program, to fight for the greater good, to learn to pause and listen to each other even when we disagree and to work with others to form a co-op that will uplift then fight for what is right, just, and not necessarily popular. This is not an easy thing to do but it is doable. Write your obituary and ask if it will reflect the years of contributions you made to help build humanity and the forthcoming generations rise to the next level of fruitfulness and righteousness.
How shall we be remembered when our life here on earth is no more? Thumbs up or thumbs down?