My greatest fear this new year and the many new years to come is to be forgotten. To be treated no better than an afterthought. To fade away completely after I am gone. To quietly enter into the night and be lost for all time in pitch darkness. That is my greatest fear. It is the mortal fear that I will leave little or no memory in the hearts and minds of the people I have met, lived with and loved dearly. Or worse, to be quickly forgotten having lived an inconsequential life.
Now let's be clear, I am not seeking immortality in the way it is claimed by the wise sages of all times (or thrust upon them by their votaries). That said, no matter how great and accomplished they are, they all come and go, leave their mark - some deeper than others - and eventually pass on.
And ironically, even the most evil of men are not forgotten. But theirs is a different remembrance altogether. It is a remembrance to avoid at all costs; an ignominious call to mind just to stay away in the heart.
For me, I am merely striving for easy retrievability, not immortality. In other words, I am looking for some form of permanence in the hearts of the people I know and love. And it would be enough for me just to leave a small dent in their lives for easy recalling. They can then draw strength from it to know that I had somehow been there. And being there, I had beaten a little path to guide them in their own journey, in their own trials.
This is how I believe I will remain in their hearts even long after I am gone. This is how I will not be forgotten. This is how I will not go so quietly into the night.
For this reason, the legacy I leave behind will be one driven by love, courage and hope. They shall be my lodestar, my anchorage, my compass when I am lost. My new year’s resolution of all time is therefore to beat a path in their direction. And in beating this path I will no doubt stray or derail. But I will endeavor to return to it because I know with all my heart that it is not what I own in this life that matters - it is how I live that truly counts.
Let me end with a brief personal tribute to love, courage and hope; my journey's companion for life.
I understand now why love never fails. It cannot help but succeed because it gives of himself completely to the object of his desire. A devotion like that will bridge all gaps, answer all calls, and heal all wounds. It is the most powerful force in this world. A force that moves the heart that moves the world. A legacy of love is never forgotten.
The courage to stand for what is right is the will of champions. It is the unshakeable resolve to pursue timeless truth regardless of the personal cost. It is a call to rise up and step up to be counted. Sometimes this is the loneliest road one is called to take. It is also an exacting and demanding road. But a man of courage leaves behind an indebtedness whose beneficiaries of such courage will never forget. It is a legacy that lasts many lifetimes
Hope is the spirit of celebration. It rejoices even when things are not going well. It is the soaring spirit that sets its sight on the continuously emerging horizons - each horizon bringing its own challenges and rewards. The most potent aspect of hope is that it will never allow itself to stay stagnant in one position - frozen and transfixed in time and space. Hope glides with time and when one season of trials and growth ends, another season awaits. A person who lives with hope is never discouraged by setbacks. Neither is he overwhelmed by successes. He takes it all in with a perspective that surpasses the superficial, the immediate and the sensational. Hope is the legacy of winners who refuse to accept adversity as final. It treats all things with a touch of enduring optimism. Needless to say, like love and courage, a life of hope inspires all to always remember to never forget. Cheerz.