The New Times (Kigali)

29 January 2013

Rwanda: How Will You Be Rememberd?

PREPARED OR not, some day, our clocks will stop ticking. There will be no more worries, laughter, pain, wealth or poverty. Everything you ever owned will be left behind, possibly passed on to someone else.

Everything will shrivel to irrelevance. It won't matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and other negative emotions will take a hike.

Sadly too, will your hopes, ambitions and dreams. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will wither away.

It won't matter if you were beautiful or brilliant, a boy or a girl, white or black.

So what matters?

What matters is not what you got, but what you gave. What matters is not your success, but your worth. What matters is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What matters is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What matters is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone. And what matters the most is not your memories, but the memories people will have of you.

How will you be remembered? Will you be remembered as a snob and a bully? Will you be remembered as an uncouth and irresponsible person? Or will you be remembered as a person who respected people; a person who always tried to do what is best not just for themselves but for others too?

Dear teens and the youth in general, work on fixing the negativity in your lives. Be a better person - there is always room for improvement.

The writer is 18 years old.

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