My boss asked everyone in the company to discuss what they’d like to be remembered for. Here is my response:
A very large question, indeed. I must admit, I have never considered it until you posed it to us a couple weeks ago. … I had considered saying that I’d like to be remembered for my warmth, my humor, my intelligence and my kindness. But the more I consider these things, the more I realize that these qualities are tools, not accomplishments. Of course I couldn’t tell you the accomplishments that I will actually be remembered for, as the completed ones are unfortunately only remembered by the dead. The incompleted ones, I have yet to begin. And if I were to sit here and list all of the things I mean to accomplish in my life, I would surely wear out your keyboard. So to express the inexpressible, I will call on the praxis of muses and rely on poetic generalities. I’d like to be remembered for bringing people together. For forging compromise between parties that have battled so long they have forgotten why they started. For rekindling hope in dying embers. For giving voice to the silent and reminding them why they should speak. For reminding this country that joy can be a rebellion, hope can be a rallying cry and absurdity is an admission of the impossible. For watering parched souls with love. For blooming flowers where e’er I walk.
“Flowers spring to blossom where she walks
The careful ways of duty;
Our hard, stiff lines of life with her
Are flowing curves of beauty.
“Her presence lends its warmth and health
To all who come before it.
If woman lost us Eden, such
As she alone restore it.”
John Greenleaf Whittier, Among the Hills