by JC Bowman
"What do you want on your tombstone?" That is the question the television pitchman asks hawking the popular frozen pizza. In life, that is a question to ask as well. What do you want on your tombstone? What legacy will you leave the world? Will you be remembered? And if so, how?
I have always said I will be successful when I stand alone before God and I hear the words at the end of my days: "well done my good and faithful servant." I want my life to have meaning. But applause from the masses pale in comparison to applause from God. Living apart from the world makes meaning in life an impossible challenge. Isn't that what we desire to find meaning in life? The Old Italian proverb finché c'è vita c'è speranza is a reminder. It means as long as there is life there is hope. I am convinced that one of the major reasons Barack Obama is having his message resonate with so many people has been his message of hope to people. In fact, taking his message from the 2004 Democratic Convention, he has built a serious campaign for President of the United States in 2008 upon the theme of hope. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead. As a nation, and as individuals, we need to hear those kinds of messages from people in power. As human beings, we need hope. Even false hope is better than none.
There is a time for negativity and facing the realities of living in a complex world, but we must balance that with hope for a better future. If we fail to do that the black clouds of darkness will surround us giving us no comfort, and worse will rob us of our future. It is true that while there's life there's hope. I would also argue that where there is hope there is life. Where there is no hope, there is no life. Former Beatle John Lennon gave his final interview on Dec. 8, 1980. Reflecting on life, he said "The whole map's changed and we're going into an unknown future, but we're still all here, and while there's life, there's hope." That very night, Mark David Chapman pumped four bullets from a .38-caliber pistol into Lennon. And for John Lennon all hope was gone and life was over.
Which brings us back full circle, what legacy will you leave the world? How will you be remembered? Last month, I raised a question that angered a few readers. In discussing the refurbished building at the old Office Max location