Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Are You Known?

Panama Canal Expansion by Dynamite
This morning, I was watching a clip on the History Channel. Did you know that Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite? When he was about 60 years old, his brother died and the newspaper printed an obituary for Alfred by mistake. He was mortified to read that he was known as the merchant of death in spite of his hundreds of inventions. Alfred was a brilliant scientist - so amazingly smart and incredibly successful as a businessman, fluent in several languages, yet today, I only knew him as the man behind the Nobel Peace Prize. How did that happen? That false obituary motivated him to set aside his fortune in a trust to reward people annually for their contributions in physical science, chemistry, physiology, literary work and contributions to the furtherance of peace.

Most of us struggle to cope with our own lives and give little thought to how we will be remembered. As I write, I want to remember that my words will outlast me and that no one will care how much money I earned from the writings. They will care about who I was and how I lived. How are you known?