What People Will Remember

Our culture has taught us to love the larger than life events. Grand proposals aired on the Jumbotron at Madison Square Gardens. The Christmas bonus that’s half of your annual salary. A midnight release of The Hobbit.

Great events, sure. Memorable? Of course! But, in all honesty, they’re not what most people will remember.

Over the last couple of months friends have posted pictures of our former church secretary (but she was more than a secretary. She was an amazing woman). These pictures made me think of what I remember about her.

Her name was Eleanor Sonnega. And she was a quiet woman.

Mostly in the background. Never wanting much attention. But she did one thing that drew attention.

She had a tradition she would carry out for our church members. Every birthday she would mail a birthday card to the congregants of the church. On top of that, each birthday card contained something special.

A quarter. And not just any quarter. She found one made in the year of your birth.

Now, this may not seem like a lot but it’s memorable. It’s something everyone looked forward to on their birthday.

You talk to anyone who knew her and received one of her cards. They’ll recall the special treat of opening the card and finding another quarter.

What People Will Remember

There was nothing flashy or fancy about Eleanor. That wasn’t her.

What she had was consistency. She made sure to have the birthday card in the mail and at your house by your birthday.

She had a signature. For her, it was the quarter. You knew it was from her because there was that little something extra in the card.

She had a love for people. If you ever met Eleanor, you knew she loved people and loved to serve them. It was her passion.

While she never had a leadership title, Eleanor was the essence of leadership. Her example shined more than words could ever say.

People won’t remember or follow you for your title. They won’t for your flashy clothes or expensive vehicles.

People will remember your consistency.

People will remember your signature.

People will remember your love for them.

We remember Eleanor because of the little things she did. They imprinted on us.

Stop chasing after unimportant things. Chase after the things that will change lives.

Do the consistent actions that leave your signature of love.

Question: What do you want to be remembered for? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I want to be remembered as a Christ-follower, a godly husband, an intentional father, and a faithful friend.  I want to be remembered as someone who points people to Christ through my actions and words.  And I want to be remembered as someone who strived, stretched, and strained towards God.

    • Jon, those are great things to be remember as. Getting to know you, I’m sure people will remember you as such.

  • I want to be remembered as an encourager. I have changed my attitude over the past decade. I was more of a Debbie Downer.?now I just quietly try to encourage people.

    • That’s a great thing to strive to be remembered for Larry. It takes consistent action towards encouraging others but you can do it.

  • DS

    This is a great question that really compelled me to look at life differently.  I read Michael Nichols e-book, “Creating Your Business Vision” and Michael Hyatt’s e-book, “Creating Your Personal Life Plan.”  Both impacted me tremendously in this regard.
    MN – http://www.michaelnichols.org/business-vision/
    MH – http://michaelhyatt.com/life-plan

    • Glad it got you thinking DS. Both Michael’s providing a lot of information around planning out how you will be remembered in their books. Definitely a recommended resource.

    •  DS, thanks for sharing those links. The books sound interesting and I may check them out.

      • DS

        They’re totally free and absolutely worth the download/email address/and potentially your printer ink.

  • I want to be remembered as man that loved Christ, faithful to his wife, trained his boys to be men of God, an excellent son, brother, cousin, nephew and friend. I also want to remembered as someone who encouraged others to live out their personal and family vision designed by God.

    • Wonderful things to be remembered Bernard. Once you know how you want to be remembered, you can start living a life dedicated towards accomplishing that goal.

  • I want to be remember just the way you are writing about in this post, what an example! My natural tendency is to want the attention, want people to know my name but I know better. I want to be remembered as someone who helped people live the life of their dreams. 

    •  Kimanzi – I hear ya on this one.

    • You’re definitely going to if you keep doing what you’re doing. Your message is one of living the life of their dreams. Keep it up man!

  • What a cool thing! And like you mentioned, a small, consistent act that others knew they could look forward to each year. I love this.

    I want to be remembered for challenging others to live outside their box and push beyond their limits, to no longer feel trapped. I want someone to say, “I used to believe that I had to live with the cards that were dealt to me. Alana showed me that is not the case and that I have the power to write my own life story. Her journey gave me the courage to explore, and to engage. She didn’t judge me for who I wasn’t, but accepted me as I am.”

    That would be pretty cool.

    • I know, right! Just a nice little gesture that didn’t cost much but left a big impact.

      That would be a great legacy to leave Alana. And it would also leave a huge impact on the world.

  • I always try to be consistent.

    • That’s a great thing to strive for. People tend to enjoy having a consistent person around.

  • I want to be remembers that I made a difference in a persons life. I think about this often. I just don’t want to look back and realize that I just took up space, or that I could’ve done more, that what I did. 

    • That’s a great way to be remembered. Are you taking the steps that it requires to be remembered in this way?

  • Great story and message. When it’s all over I want to be remembered as a good husband and father. I know and at times need to remember my home and family are first priority. It’s not worth gaining fame or helping others at the cost of our own families.

    • Right on Dan. When we’ve committed to be husbands and fathers, that should be a major goal in our life.

  • Rachel Rusticus

    Interesting thoughts on how to live well. Fellow Exodus Road blogger visiting from http://www.creativelyredeemingher.blogspot.com

    • Thanks Rachel, glad to have you visit the blog today. How are you going to live well?

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