My Life Will Be a Statement
My Life Will Not Be an Apology
Talk about words that jump off the page at you! I’m an avid reader who can find value in just about anything I choose to read. Seldom, though, are an author’s words so poignant that they leap off the page and cause me to do a double-take. Last week, though, as I read Andy Andrews’ words in The Traveler’s Gift, the words in the graphic above caused me to mentally respond, “Did I really just read that?” I read it again and again, letting the weight of that statement soak in.
My life will not be an apology. It will be a statement.
In an increasingly victimized and entitled world, the counter-cultural words “My life will not be an apology” boldly strike back against that mentality. At the end of my life, I will ultimately be responsible for how I lived it. Whether I chose to embrace that responsibility doesn’t matter–the fact remains. If I rewind from the end of my life to the very moment when I am writing these words, my responsibility for my life is just as real. With one key difference. I still have time to rise to the occasion and make a difference.
And so do you.
My Life Will Be a Statement
Similarly, my life will be a statement, one way or another. And not just when I’m gone but as I live. My daily decisions are mounting. Good or bad, they are amounting to something. I won’t get to choose my legacy when I reach the end of my life; I’m building it every day.
Have you ever thought about what statement your life will make? I have. I have some favorite “life statements” from well-crafted screenwriters:
- “To my big brother George, the richest man in town.” (Harry Bailey, speaking of the investments his older brother had made in the lives of so many and the impact of those investments, even in the most trying time of George’s life–It’s a Wonderful Life)
- “Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam.” (Frodo Baggins, speaking of Samwise Gangee’s loyalty to his friend and to their mission–The Two Towers)
- “Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.” (Tobias/Four, on the potential of fear–Divergent)
- “They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” (John Keating, on seizing the most of every opportunity while time remains–Dead Poet’s Sociey)
I am a Christian who has spent his professional life as a teacher, coach, pastor, and now as a writer, speaker, and legacy builder–all occupations in which helping others is foremost in my priorities. I believe that God has the right to consume anything in my life that will further His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I have been reminded in the writing of Stories from the Roller Coaster of many of those sacrifices. My life will indeed be a statement, and this last movie quote expresses what I’d like the sum of my life to express.
- “Oh God, Oh God, I’m, I’m overwhelmed.” (Coach Grant Taylor, reflecting on the answers to prayers prayed from the lowest points of his life–where he prayed, “You can have my hopes and my dreams.”–Facing the Giants)
My life will be a statement. And so will yours. What will yours be? Why not intentionally move toward that today.
Thanks for reading. Now seize the day.
About Al Ainsworth
Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and Coach Dave: Season One. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.