Obituary (Word For The Week)
When Alfred Nobel’s brother, Ludvig, died in 1888, Alfred was surprised at what the press had written as his obituary, mistaking him for his brother.
The press apparently we’re happy to see the end of Alfred. They wrote in the mistaken obituary how he, let me paraphrase here, had been a scourge on the earth. How he is like the grey horseman, a harbinger of death.
Alfred Nobel had a chance that very few get in their lifetime. By seeing his obituary, he had an idea of how people will remember him. He realized what his true legacy was.
No matter how much of a sadist a person might be, being likened to the grey horseman in the book of Revelation is sure to sober you up.
Alfred decided to rewrite his obituary. But then, you are not supposed to even write your own obituary, how are you now supposed to rewrite it?
He did this by changing his legacy.
Until that point, Alfred Nobel was the father of dynamite, which was now synonymous with death. He decided to leave aside in his will a substantial amount of money to be given to people who have made the biggest contributions to humanity every year.
Upon his death, his relatives contested the will. The fact that he had not been married and had no children was supposed to make his death like winning the lottery for these relatives.
Thankfully the court upheld the will and the Nobel Prize was born.
All these years later, when you hear the name Alfred, you are more likely to associate it with the Nobel Prize than with Dynamite. He successfully rewrote his legacy.
You may not be known the world over. You may not discover or create something that rewrites history. Your influence might be limited to your immediate environment. But how will you be remembered?
You won’t be remembered the same way by everyone, but how many good memories will come up when your name is mentioned?
As much as our ultimate reward is in heaven, what if your entry into heaven depends on everyone you ever come in contact with voting for or against you getting into heaven? And people had to vote honestly, based on their memories of you.
Even here on Earth, your children and grandchildren will be associated with your name. Why would someone be tempted to hurt someone else or deprive them of something simply because they are associated with you?
As you go through life, before you act, think to yourself, what if this was added to my obituary?
How will you be remembered?