To Honor Someone, Make Them Unforgettable

After 16 years you would think that it gets easier, and on the surface it may look that way, but beneath that it still hurts the same. Ever since the attack on 9/11, our family has visited Ground Zero / The National September 11 Memorial every year. My wife’s older sister, Jennifer, along with nearly 3,000 others died on 9/11, and each year we go back to the site to pay the respect to her and to others that deserve it.

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Listening to the names of those that died on that day being read by family members is emotional and heartbreaking. Each has a story to share about what has made their loved one unforgettable, what they meant to them, and how they’re working to make sure future generations know the impact that they had even though their lives were cut short unexpectedly and unfairly.

During the ceremony, the question of how to best remember, honor, and show respect to someone that has had such a positive impact in life kept running through my mind. And as the day progressed, the answer became much clearer.

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The best way to show honor and respect, and ultimately remember that person that has had such a great impact on your life is to show it in your everyday actions. Act and live in such a manner that would make that person proud.

It is the act of doing that has a lasting impression. It is what people see, what they experience when they interact with you, and it is what future generations will also use as an example. It is the action that allows your words to have meaning and truth.

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It is said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and it just might be the best way you can remember and honor someone that has meant a lot to you. How you live your life will make them unforgettable.

The Best Piece of Advice I’ve Received in Years

I find the topic of advice to be pretty polarizing. And maybe polarizing is the first word that comes to mind for most people, but I think it fits because it can create the most opposite of reactions.

Sometimes people go and seek advice, and their either confirmed in their initial thoughts are told something they don’t want to hear. At other times advice is given when not asked for, and in all these cases the reaction from the person on the receiving end can range from being feeling positive and validated to negative and hostile.

How you feel about the advice you’ve just been given also stems from a number of things. Is the source trustworthy? Does the source understand the whole situation in context? What is the character of the source?

All of these things played into mind when I was recently given this bit of advice: “Don’t run away from a bad situation, run toward a great one.” Those were the words from a good friend of mine, David Griner, Director of Digital Initiatives and Innovation at Adweek. I trust Dave and his opinion because he’s not shy of telling the honest truth, saying things as they are, and he believes in paying it forward.

“Don’t run away from a bad situation, run toward a great one.”

~ David Griner

It’s a perspective that I had not considered before and it makes total sense. No one wants to stay in a bad situation or one that is less than ideal, and nobody would blame anyone for wanting to leave something like that as quickly as possible. But if you only consider running away from a bad situation, you will be willing to accept another situation that’s only ideal for the moment. Then it won’t be too long before you find yourself looking to leave another bad situation.

Instead, if you’re running to something good or great, you are advancing yourself and moving towards something that you’re truly passionate about. And a job, position, or situation that you’re passionate about has the chance to last and will make you happier overall.

In order to take advantage of Dave’s advice though, we have to set aside some time to think and remove the emotions that drive us to consider change to begin with. Perhaps the current situation isn’t as bad as originally thought, and the opportunity you were looking to go to isn’t as good as it looked.

Well that’s the lesson that I’ve learned, does it apply for you as well?