How do you want to be remembered?

It’s a question as old as time, but misses the mark and is distracting from the more important question.


Bryan Whiting


December 23, 2022

On the sports fields of high school, I was often asked, “How do you want to be remembered?” The energy behind that question is a rallying cry for someone to go out and score some goals and be victorious. Score goals → be remembered forever in the annals of high school lore, the thinking goes.

This question misses the point.

In “Ego is the Enemy”, Ryan Holiday asks the rhetorical question “to be or to do”. The mindset is that either we can focus on doing great work (spending time on action and education), or we can focus on being great (talking too much, dreaming too much). Ironically, greatness follows those who do, not those who say they will do.

So instead of asking “how will others remember me”, ask “what will I do for others?”

Dan Kiefer via Unsplash

On this Christmas season, remember that while Jesus Christ’s divinity has been debated for centuries, certainly he’s been remembered. He’s been remembered because of the actions he took and the kindness he showed.

Christians believe he was the Son of God, one with literal power over death and rose from his own grave. He could calm the seas and turn water to wine. He was the rightful heir to the throne that his Roman captors sat on. He could have easily freed his oppressed nation to rest on his laurels forever.

Yet the recorded miracles we have from him don’t involve him showing moving mountains or collecting power and gold. The reason he’s remembered is because His miracles involve him spending time with individuals and in their service. He healed the sick. Caused the blind to see. He alleviated suffering.

May this Christmas be one where you don’t focus on what others think of you. May it be one where you enjoy following His example of doing good for others, however small.

Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26–28

Merry Christmas.

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