Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How to Measure a Life

I wrote once about the movie "The Bucket List" and how much I LOVED it! At the time, however, I didn't have the quote I most appreciated from the opening of the film.

I was fortunate enough to get to see it on a flight recently, and was able to write down the quote (or at least a close approximation of it).

Morgan Freeman's character is narrating and raises the issue of how to measure a life:

"It's difficult to know how to measure a life.

Some say its measured by the ones left behind.

Some say by faith...

Some say by love...

Other say life has no meaning at all.

Me... I believe you measure yourself by the people who meansure themselves by you."

I love the last line of this quote. What would our world look like if each of us had the goal to live our lives in such a way that others would want to immitate us, or aspire to live the way we lived? I think we'd have an amazing world indeed.

THere is no greater compliment, in my opinion, than when someone uses my behavior, my attitude or my approach to living as an example for themselves. We all influence each other each and every day. If we are sloppy in our values or our principles, we unwittingly give others permission to behave in the same way.

I'm not advocating being self righteous or acting 'holier than thou.' I'm merely suggesting that we shouldn't behave in ways we find unacceptable and then expect those around us to 'do as we say... and not as we do.'

I once saw a bumper sticker that said, "Drive the way you would want your kid to drive." What a great thought! If we each applied this principle to the living of our lives in total, we could transform the world into a much more loving and peaceful place.

Every time we are making a decision about how to act or behave, if we ask the question, 'would I want someone I really care about to do this?' we might just find that we make some different choices!

I like the following quote by Thomas Fuller, "Govern thy life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one, and read the other."

Words to live by.

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