Monday, December 22, 2014

How to Remember me when I Go

These are not my final words, I'm certainly not thinking of leaving this world just yet. When I go, I want it to happen after a full and happy life, and while my life is certainly a happy one, I still have many things I wish to do before the end.

But I've been thinking about things, about people I know, choices I've made, and others have made. Lots of poeple want to be remembered for big things - buildings designed, trophies won, and so forth. My ideas are different. I'm never going to build a house that amazes all, I don't ever want to build any house. And I'm never going to run races, and win in record times.

My garden has lovely things in it, but it's not the most gorgeous and amazing garden ever. I'm not breathtakingly gorgeous, or the sexiest little minx anyone could ever imagine. No, I'm none of these things. Nor am I an absolute genius who creates wonderful machines, or finds answers formerly unknown to mankind.

What I am, is a person who cares about other people. I'm quite good at listening quietly. Listening is a skill not all are able to do well. To listen, one must switch off their own mind chatter, and properly pay attention to the words spoken to you. And you must switch off your critic - your opinions and answers aren't needed at this listening stage.

Sometimes a kind and quiet listener can be the best thing for a troubled person. If you can fill that role, and do it well, you can be a life-saver. You can be the quiet hero, just because you cared enough to listen, just listen.

So when I do die, I hope at least some people will remember me as a good listener. That's all, just a good listener. Thank you.