Four Weddings and a Funeral makes for a great movie title. Five funerals in three years – not so much.
This is my reality with my folks and several of my uncles / aunts passing away in recent years. Hearing family members and lifelong friends share anecdotes at these final farewells opens a doorway to understanding these people. Not just what they did or what they achieved, but more about who they were.
In his book, The Road to Character, David Brooks talks about ‘resumé virtues’ and ‘eulogy virtues’. The challenge being are we focused on building our life around what looks good externally or what adds substance to our character? The things we do and the things we achieve, whilst important, are more about how others size us up – do we measure up to their expectations, are we suited for a role. Who we are identifies what is important to us – what drives us, what defines us.
This is character. These are the traits that surpass our ‘resumé virtues’. This is also our opportunity for greatest influence and lasting legacy. The aspects of who we are for which we will be remembered, and often by those who we did not even realise we were influencing.
Our role, our job, our achievements are important but have a shelf-life.
Our values, our beliefs are our core that flavours everyone around us.
What are you building today – your resumé self or your eulogy self?
Let Hope Rise.