Have you ever noticed how a person is talked about while they’re alive compared to what is said about them after they’ve passed away? It’s usually very different.
While they’re alive, we speak glowingly of people by acknowledging their successes: “Jim has risen to the level of president of the company only 10 years after entering the corporation at the mail-room level,” or “Janice has been able to bring in to her non-profit organization nearly triple the funds of her predecessor.”
Once that person is gone, however, what are considered noteworthy successes changes. It becomes: “Jim generously opened his home every year to at-risk youth and provided mentoring opportunities to help inner city kids get ahead in school,” and “Janice was known for her compassion and enthusiasm. She gave her time, money, and talents so local senior groups could participate in the arts that might not otherwise be available to them.”
Doesn’t it look like one might be part of a resume and the other a part of a eulogy? Which one is more important? I’m not sure one is more important than another, but I am sure, when it’s all said and done, I’d prefer the eulogy dialogue to linger after any mention of my name. Knowing this now, while we’re above deck, so to speak, can be very valuable information.
For many of us senior citizens, we’re done with work and we either made vice-president or didn’t. We’ve spent a huge amount of time creating resume accolades. Do you think, however, that when someone hears your name after you’re gone they’ll remember and be impressed by the fact that you only missed two days of work in your 40 year career? I doubt it.
Why even bring this up?
So, my point in presenting this subject here today is merely to serve as a reminder. You can never spend too much time and effort developing and living those talents that rarely show up on a resume, like being compassionate, gentle, tender, patient, non-judgmental, open, courageous, truthful, loving, and good at making others laugh. Aren’t you glad you already know how to be all these things? Now go out and share these skills with others. Don’t wait for the eulogy!