Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Question to Ponder

I heard a story at church Sunday about a man who decided to do some research into life. He gathered up as many 95+ year olds as he could find, and he asked them to write down the answers to some questions, among which was this one:

How would you have lived your life differently, if you had it to do over?

The answers were very interesting; here are some of them:

1. I would have worked less.
2. I would have been less concerned with making money.
3. I would have been less interested in rising up the ladder of success and gaining status.
4. I would have spent more time with my children.
5. I would have enjoyed nature more often.
6. I would have lived my life in such a way that I made a difference in other people's lives.

Think about that last one. What have you done to affect the life of another person in a positive manner?

Are you so frenzied with work or school or clubs or hobbies that you won't take time to enjoy being alive?

Are you focused on making money and/or making a name for yourself? Is it taking precious time away from your family and friends, from relaxation and general enjoyment of life?

I read this quote recently and it was said at church too; and I will paraphrase it:

"At the end of your life, it will not matter how much money you had in the bank or how many awards you have won. The most important thing that can be said about you is that you made a difference in the life of another."

Can you say that you already have or do you need to get to work on that as I do?


Bob-kat said...

Very good point and great post. I think we all need to be reminded about this from time to time! It reminds me of the film 'It's a Wonderful Life' though. Sometimes you may not realise you have made a difference to somebodies life as sometimes it's the samll things that count. It's amazing the difference a kind word can make to someone as well as the large gestures.

Blitz Krieg said...

I made a career "ending" decision two years ago to spend more time with my son before he left for college. My job at the time required ten to twelve hour days and I worked many Saturdays. The perks and pay were fantastic, but even when I finally came home I was beat.

Once I made my decision to take another job with the company, (it was a rotating shift that guaranteed me two weeks off in a row many times a year), all my "friends" who were co-worker turned their backs on me. My VP even took me aside and told me I was committing career suicide.

I didn't do it for me, I did it for my son. It is the best decision I've made since getting married.

Anonymous said...

Your blog gets A+ for variety. You make us laugh and think. You make us feel cozy.

pat said...

All of us - especially me - could improve our way of living with regard to others but I don't see how you can have brought up children without affecting their lives - hopefully for the better.

StupendousWoman said...

I am not as certain as you seem to be, Judy, about the fact that you have not made a difference. It really doesn't take much to make a difference in someone's life... No need to be a firefighter or a superhero for that. I am sure you have made thousands of things happen for other people, which would not have happened without you!

Terri said...

I suppose a positive answer could assume one is quite "puffed" up with themself. But, I have to say I feel I have significantly touched many lives and made a difference. Much of it was done throughout my nursing career, but much wasn't. When it wasn't, I was seldom aware of it until I was told.
As for living my life...I wouldn't have changed a thing. Not one thing. I'm happy with my choices and I'm extremely blessed. Life is good.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

As a matter of fsct, I believe I have made a difference in quite a few peoples lives. And hopefully I will continue to do that for the rest of my life. And there are many lives that one mught touch without even knowing that you are doing that....That is what "It's A Wondrful Life" Is really all about...and I agree it is important to do what you can for other people....even when you don't know you are touching another person's life. If you live by Shakespeares words, "This above all to thine own self be true....etc." Then your truth, in whayever way it is expressed, will touch other people and maybe even change something in their lives.
If I were to sit down and write down ALL the people who have touched my life in a really important way, the list would be very very very very long, I'm happy to say. And I am deeply grateful to each and everyonbe of them.

Cris said...

There is a song, by Jaci Velasquez and she says it all (sorry, it's long): We can make a difference
We can make a change
We can make the world a better place
We can make the sun shine through the rain

Do you know a man
Who's needing a hand?
Don't ya walk on by

A sister is sad
Lost all that she had
We gotta take the time

Look around your world
(It will testify)
Some have empty hearts
(Some have hungry eyes)
God can heal the suffering through our hands
Find compassion, take a stand

Kentucky Gal said...

I loved this post and it is oh so true!!

Anna said...

I really hope that I have done that Judy...

This was a wonderful post and it indeed will make people think. I once was asked "what is your passion?"....I had to really think about it. As it turned out, at that point in my life my passion was myself. And that was definitely the wrong answer!

I hope that I am changing. I hope that Christ is changing me. I guess we'll see...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hey Judy...I came back because I realized I didn't say that like George Bailey in "It's A Wonderful Life" I am absolutely sure you have touched many many MANY people in your life and have "been their" for them in ways you may not even know...but they do!

Anonymous said...

Actually all of them do not make me concerned as I have lived my life fulfilling them. It is just #6 I still have to work on! Every day.

Tabor who is too lazy to log-in

raehan said...

Those are good questions to ponder.

bluemountainmama said...

good food for thought, judy. i have the belief that we are meant to serve and help others, not just to take up space, consume resources, etc. we all have giftings and talents that are meant to be shared....

kenju said...


srp said...

What is this "TEST"...? I am still trying to get this new blogger situated. Is it just me or does it seem a bit more bulky and hard to handle?

In the end the most important thing is an individuals personal relationship with Chist. The second most important thing is how we have demonstrated His love to others. They go hand in hand.

Raggedy said...

That was a very thought provoking post.
I don't remember where I saw or heard this but a dad counted out pennies for every Saturday he would have left with his children before they left home. We only have about 48 Saturday's per year and it he did this to make sure he made those Saturdays matter. Every Saturday he removed a Saturday penny.

kenju said...


utenzi said...

Statements like that are largely meaningless, Judy, since they have no impact. It's easy to say something sweeping like that once your family is raised and you're retired. It's a lot harder to live that ideal each and every day when it actually applies to you. Of course since I have a quiet deadend job and no family it doesn't really apply to me anyway.

utenzi said...

What kind of test is this, Judy. I like tests...

Shephard said...

Making a difference. Small things count... random acts of kindness. :)
Great reminder, Judy.

kenju said...


Clarence said...

I can honestly say that I have made a difference in many people's lives. Mostly I achieve that by keeping my nose out of it. (Joke)

Yes! I KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt that I have made a positive difference in a few people's lives during my journey through this world. It's what keeps me going so strong. I remember how it made me feel and I became addicted to that feeling. No one else needs to know what I did to experience that feeling. It is enough that myself and my creator know that it was good and I believe God appreciates everything that is good,especially if He's not the one doing it. I think that tells Him there is still hope for His creations.