Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Obituary

As someone who receives alerts on the use of my name, I often receive references to obituaries for Harry Tuckers all around the world.  Sometimes I’ll joke with colleagues that apparently I died again today but this is what I accomplished in the meantime.

I got to thinking about this this morning as I read “my” latest obituary and I took a moment to write what I thought my obituary would look like.

As I did, I reflected on events-to-date in my Life, visualized possible events that will occur in my future and I thought about the people who are important to me.  I also wondered what they might write for my obituary.  After all, our obituary is other people’s perceptions of our legacy. 

William James noted:

The great use of Life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

Our obituary is in essence an encapsulation of James’ thought … a description of what outlasts us.

I wonder if the obituary that I would write and the one that others would write would be similar.  While we shouldn’t spend our time worrying about what everyone thinks of us, with appropriate (not excessive) levels of humility, there is much to be gleaned from the potential gap between them.

And in that gap, there may be a call to action.

If you have a moment, I would recommend that you give some thought to your obituary and what you think it would say.

Having described the legacy you wish to leave behind, ask yourself if you are on track to meet or exceed it.

And then ask yourself what, if anything, needs to be done to close the gap.

In service and servanthood,


Addendum – June 19, 2013

I posted a revised version of this post in support of the brilliant campaign, #SurrenderYourSay, being run by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada .

The revised post can be found here.

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