To Be a Memory
Sometimes I wonder how I will be remembered. Sometimes I wonder how I am remembered now. It occurs to me, that if I am remembered at all, the man I gave a sandwich to on the corner of Cumberland has a different memory of me, than say, an ex-girlfriend, a former teacher, or college friend. Memories are so informed by the person with the memory. I have been cursed and I have been praised, on occasion, by the same person.
And while each new day brings different people into my life and an opportunity to “create a new me”, often, I tend to want to stay in bed or be alone, so as not to do more harm than good. Ultimately, it is not my image that I worry so much about. I would like to think that I represent the Divine. I hope that when others encounter me, they might be compelled to think about, in some small way, God. This is a responsibility that I take on myself, but one that has always been a part of my concern, at least in the back of my mind, if not some sort of mission.
I was never impressed with the “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do?) campaign. It may be important to some and might have helped others, but for me, the constant question is, “WSKD” (What Should Kevin Do?). Generally, I do not ask myself that question enough. Generally, I make decisions and hope for the best. I would like to think that I was informed in my decision making by what Jesus did and does on earth, but when it comes down to it, there is nothing written about Jesus having to hold for an hour and a half to convince someone on the other end of a telephone line that he was billed incorrectly on his utility bill. Hopefully, there are more options to handling things than one divinely ordained response.
So what can I do about how I am remembered? What great advice could I take so as not to do damage to the kingdom? I have heard, “Love One Another”. If that is not possible for some, and on some days for me I cannot do it well, here is the advice I try to follow. “Don’t be a jerk”. It is hard sometimes. It is hard for me a lot of times. But it follows the thinking that if you cannot do good, at least, do no harm. It may not bring some great reward, but I have found I sleep better when I got through a day without acting mean. Of course, I prefer love, but the absence of meanness will suffice.
As far as being a memory? I find that even those I felt negatively about years ago have become, to some extent, endeared to me when I remember them. Some of the most painful memories I have had found a way of losing their sting with the passing of time. So I live, hopefully without the pressure of the kingdom of God resting on my shoulders alone. Hopefully, without being responsible for every person’s opinion of me. And hopefully, even still, knowing that there is a grace for anything I could do wrong, a mercy for every action I could set into motion, and a forgiveness for every transgression I could perform. This is peace. This is how I would like to be remembered.