How to know what you will be remembered as.

Posted by Kamau1234



This past year, my community, Southwest Atlanta, Ga, has lost some good people. I have lost friends. Friends of mine have lost friends, parents, older brothers, and other loved ones most of whom were relatively young. What I find to be apparent is once people pass, their genuine personalities are brought to the light. Everyone takes a moment of their day to share their favorite memory with the recently deceased, on social media or by personally telling someone, as a way to pay tribute. However, was it how the person wanted to be remembered?

This morning I asked myself what people will think of when I'm gone and they speak the name Kamau Olatunji. I have some ideas but nothing concrete. What is clear to me is that I want to leave something behind to comfort my loved ones while simultaneously inspiring them. I want to my transition (out of the physical body) to be a celebration of life rather than a somber wave of defeat. What is not clear to me, is how I am supposed to live life to the fullest. I'm not exactly sure if living life to the fullest translates to taking more risks. I certainly think that is apart of it, though, I am a risk taker. I left college only after one year, and I moved to California at 20 years old to start a business. In 2017, I became the president of an exclusive networking group for business owners, where the majority of members easily had 20 years of experience on me. Again, I take risk, but am I living life to the fullest?

When I think of someone who lived life to the fullest and left an impact, I think of Tupac Shakur. An individual who created something so impactful that nearly 22 years after his death, his music, his quotes, and his spirit still lives on and is shared on a daily basis across the world.

All of our lives have an expiration date. You can never know with certainty when that date will arrive. You don't know when it will be your last afternoon, your last conversation, or your last breath, but it is your responsibility to cultivate the narrative to how you are remembered. Whether it is the way you treat other people or the things you create, you have a choice to take the legacy of YOU into your own hands.

In closing, I wanted to share a poem by Atlanta's renowned Baptist minister and civil rights leader, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays. His poem is titled, I Have Only Just A Minute.

I have only just a minute,

Only sixty seconds in it.

Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.

Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.

But it’s up to me

to use it.

I must suffer if I lose it.

Give account if I abuse it.

Just a tiny little minute,

but eternity is in it.

 

About The Author


My name is Kamau Olatunji. My website is WhatnowKamau.com. I primarily write about professional development and my life's journey. Thanks for reading.

 


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