A Life Is Not Important

Posted by: on April 3, 2011

“A life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives.”

One of my favorite quotes owes its creation not to a world leader, professional entertainer or renowned orator, but to a humble baseball player from the 1940’s. Jackie Robinson didn’t set out to change the world, but by living his life in this simple, humble mindset, he left a legacy that continues to have a profound impact upon humanity today.

We all have the potential to become people of tremendous consequence. What often impedes us is not a lack of wealth, prestige, access or opportunity, but understanding. We misunderstand our own role. We underestimate the impact of our daily lives. We overlook the amazing breadth of our own influence. We downplay our importance to others, and ignore our own ability to make this home, town, country or world a better place.

My young life has rewarded me with a long list of very poignant and heartwarming memories. Tales of human triumph, stories of unlikely success, adversities overcome, friendships fostered, futures reclaimed; all memories earned through a simple and humble investment in others. I acknowledge that my role in life stands to effect those around me, and I embrace the importance of my daily interactions -regardless of how small. While the world may never come to view me as a “person of consequence”, I try to live my life in a consequential way.

“Far too many people willingly forfeit their legacy to the inconsequential utility of routine. The future is owned by those who recognize their own importance.” – Author’s Note

Many of us mistakenly look to other people, or other positions, as having more importance than we have ourselves. That simple falsehood is responsible for 90% of the world’s problems. Instead of diffusing or delegating consequence to others, we must make a commitment to embrace our own. This mindset is not expressed by an occasional good deed, it is manifest in our daily routine . It is the manner in which we inhabit our role, and the seriousness with which we view our own legacy. It is a humble and simplistic acceptance of our responsibility to one another.

We become people of influence not simply by what we do, but by how we do it. Like fingerprints, our values are imprinted upon everything that we do. The secret lies in how we share ourselves; how our actions and interactions convey those values. Jackie Robinson’s fame allowed him to influence millions of people at once. We see his icon and are instantly reminded of his legacy. You too have a legacy to share. You leave a piece of yourself with each and every person that you engage with. The challenge is to make a daily investment in the life of those with whom your path will cross. A life is not important, except for the impact it has on other lives.” From now on, begin each day with the determination that your impact will be a big one.

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