A while ago, when I was in Utah, we had an activity at church that I went to with my mom. My brother, Daniel, was kind enough to babysit my daughter–and she didn’t end up wailing and crying too bad, but she definitely eyed him warily the whole time.
Anyway. We had a get-to-know-you activity and I got asked a few different times by a few different people what I wanted to be remembered for.
I said, without having to think about it much, service.
I was thinking about that again today when I got an email from my brother, William. He wrote the following (this is verbatim, by the way):
When George Albert Smith died, President Truman I believe called the family and told them the high regards that he had for him as one of the great leaders in the nation. A few minutes later a young paper boy knocked on their door and told them through his tears, “I’ve lost my best friend. The family chose the young boy to be one of the paul barers (I don’t have any idea how to spell that). All the recognition that this prophet had, meant nothing when you compare it the young boy he touched.
I love that story.
Sometimes I get caught up in this and that and the other. I did a lot of planning yesterday and got distracted by figuring out how to finish a kid’s table and chair I have.
I really don’t want to be remembered by my paint jobs. I don’t even want to be remembered by what I write–I love writing, and hopefully lots of people can read what I write someday.
But more than that, I want to be remembered by how I served. I want to be remembered for the letters I put in the mail, phone calls or texts or email, visits, listening, saying hi to someone, helping out when the opportunity comes. I want my kids to see me serving other people.
It brings me joy to serve. And more importantly, I feel like I’ve been blessed so much in life that I have a responsibility to serve. I mean, you just can’t learn the piano and then never play it for anyone. You can’t know how to write and then keep all your thoughts to yourself.
You have to share yourself, and share yourself in a humble way, focusing more on helping those around you instead of seeking glory.
Service. Yeah. So I don’t really want to be a New York Times bestselling whatever, because the smaller things are more important.