Ready or not, some day

it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises,

no minutes, hours or 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 what side of the tracks you lived

on at the end.

It won’t matter whether

you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color

will be irrelevant.

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

to emulate your example.

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.

What will matter is how long

you will be remembered,

by whom and for what.

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.


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