From the Jack’s Winning Words blog today comes this bit of wisdom from Dr. Seuss – “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
Jack went on to write about attending the Memorial Day observances in a local cemetery and noticing people standing alone by tombstones remembering those who are buried there. Many of us may think of those who have passed from time to time, but do we ever consider what the memories of others about us will be? Will we represent pleasant memories, fond memories, maybe even loving memories? Will remembering us bring a smile to the faces of those who pause to reflect upon knowing us or will there be a frown there?
More than any possessions, that one might be able to amass; the collective memories of us in the minds of those who we have met are what really make up our true “legacy”. Will you be remembered as a friend, as a kind and compassionate person, as a good listener, as dependable and trustworthy; or will your legacy be that of a self-centered, arrogant, boorish person who was best avoided? Most of us will probably be remembered somewhere in the middle; hopefully closer to the former than the latter end of that scale.
Another aspect of the Dr. Seuss quote is realizing that the moment that you are in will become a memory someday. I hope that it will become a fond memory and, realizing that, will allow you to savor it even more. In some cases it is a moment that you just need to get through and put behind you. My wife and I have a little saying that we use for some of those moments, “Someday we’ll look back on this and laugh.” You just have to realize that every “now” becomes a “then” with time. The pain of a loss now will become the comfortable memory of the many “thens” that you had together. The sting of a disappointment or a failure will fade as you process the experience into understanding and wisdom. The joys of successes, victories, friendships and loves will take their places on the trophy shelf in the back of your mind, ready to be revisited and savored once again, when you need a lift.
So, one take-away from today’s quote is that the moment that you are in is a future memory – make the best memory of it that you can. If you are just meeting someone for the first time, treat it as if this will be the only time that they encounter you. What memory of you do you want them to have and what memory of them do you want to keep? If you are doing something, make sure that the memory of this effort is one that you can look back on with pride. Place a high value on your time and how you spend it. Each fleeting moment is a memory being formed. Make sure that your memories are those of a life well lived and not a dull still life full of coulda, woulda and shoulda’s. Go out and make some great memories this week.
I’ll remember the time spent writing this and smile. Have a great week ahead.