Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from,
or on what side of the tracks you lived.
At the end, whether you were beautiful or brilliant, male or female,
even your skin colour won’t matter.
So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories,
but the memories that live in those who loved you.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
[Michael Josephson is one of the nation’s most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project, he has given keynote speeches and has consulted for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. For nearly 15 years, Mr. Josephson delivered award-winning commentaries on KNX-1070 in Los Angeles. He is also the author of several books. Here is the link to his website: http://whatwillmatter.com/]
Picture of Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, IL