In a lovely lullaby called Everything Possible, songwriter Fred Small sings to a child a song that no one ever sang to him. He advises that you can be anybody you want to be, travel wherever your heart leads you, and love whomever you will.
He notes that some girls grow up strong and brave while some boys are quiet and shy. Then he states what I believe are two undeniable truths about human existence:
"If you give your friends the best part of yourself / They will give the same back to you."
"And the only measure of your words and your deeds / Will be the love you leave behind when you're done."
Like any good coach would do, Fred Small encourages us to recognize that who we are is more important than what we accomplish. Our achievements and accomplishments tell about what we did. We may have moved to the top of the corporate ladder or traveled around the world a dozen times or amassed a huge fortune.
Yet if we are true to who we are, our individual strengths will guide us naturally and effortlessly. We will be able to give to others and receive back from them. We will love and appreciate ourselves and those around us, and this is what people will remember most when we are gone.
I challenge you to think about Mr. Small's message and ask yourself a few questions.
- What are the strengths that you possess?
- How can they guide the way in which you live?
- What would you like to receive from others?
- How could you give that same thing to them?
- What would you like to be remembered for when you are gone?
© 2000 David Bentley
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