Sunday, December 18, 2011

What Will Matter - Words to Ponder

My daughter just graduated from the University of Illinois this past Saturday, finishing up her BA (Psychology - Pre Med) in 3.5 years. As I was gazing at her in her cap and gown, the reality of what was happening really began to take hold. The ceremony was in the Krannert Center, where I had received my DVM degree 28.5 years ago. It seemed just like the other day I was there in the same position she was. As my wife and I were driving down to Champaign-Urbana, I remarked to her that it seems like we should be going to her pre-school Christmas pageant, not a college graduation.

Sitting in the audience I was looking over the hundreds of students who would be getting their degrees. They all had a look of excitement and eager anticipation. They had made a great achievement obtaining their degrees and they now have their careers ahead of them. As I had sat there awaiting my degree presentation so long ago my career path was firmly established as I was to begin as a veterinarian at Niles Animal Hospital after graduation. So I was confident in my future, engaging in a profession of which I would dedicate myself. Through all the ensuing years, I have realized my dreams and still love what I do at Niles as a veterinarian. Little did I realize how well it would all turn out for me as I sat there in Krannert Center in 1983.

I wondered about all the hopes and dreams of these graduating students.  I realized they are our future and many of them would make a difference. I truly wished they would be as lucky as I and fulfill their dreams. My daughter has a difficult road ahead to achieve her dream, but her heart is in it, she is determined  and I know she will make a difference in whatever she ends up choosing.

That being said.....I was checking my emails when I got home and there was one from a friend of mine that was so appropriate for the reflective state of mind I was in upon my return from the graduation. It really hit home and I felt I should share it with you, as she did for me. 

(Thanks for sharing this with me, kenyababe.)

 What Will Matter

Author: Michael Josephson

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass 
to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally 

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you 
lived on at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what 
you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or 
sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your 

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will 
feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in 
those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for 

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.

It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.


  1. That was great, thanks for sharing!

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