What Will Matter 745.4

by Michael Josephson on October 18, 2011

in Caring, Compassion, Commentaries, The Good Life, The Nature of Character

I love to teach. I live to teach. I need to teach. So, in an effort to create a new platform for my teachings I recently created this new website called WhatWillMatter.com. I hope you’ll visit and subscribe and stay regularly engaged in the search for what matters.

The name of the website (technically called a blog – derived from the terms web log) comes from the title of a poem I wrote years ago. This poem sums up my core philosophy.

WHAT WILL MATTER by Michael Josephson (c) 2003

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage,

or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

You can download a copy of the poem suitable for framing from http://charactercounts.org/pdf/whatwillmatter-1203.pdf or view a slide show of the poem at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Lm_U9yEP0

If you like this poem you may also like a wonderful poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsY6UrFIsNs

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Carissa October 19, 2011 at 5:05 am

I’d love to purchase a professional copy of this poem. Are they available for purchase?

Reply

Michael Josephson October 19, 2011 at 8:00 am

Thanks Carissa (that’s the name of one of our daughters – beautiful!)

Yes, you can get a printed version if you make a tax-deductible donation to the Josephson Institute for of $20 or more (though you can download it for free from the website) You can also get a personally signed version if you make a donation of $50 or more.

Reply

Carissa DiMuccio October 27, 2011 at 6:25 am

Awesome, I will do that. Thanks! :)

Reply

Rita October 21, 2011 at 5:31 am

Thank you for reminding me of what is important and thank you for continuing on with your work, it is appreciated.

Reply

Pete October 21, 2011 at 6:39 am

What a great poem! For me, it couldn’t have come to me at a better time in my life. It was stated so eloquently and to the point. Thank you so much for sharing it with your readers.

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Michael Josephson October 21, 2011 at 7:40 am

You are welcome. Feel free to download a copy of our website and please visit this new blog often — and send your friends>

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Liz October 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

I have borrowed your poem three times in my life to honor three people who I thought embodied the sentiments of the poem. On each occasion, there were tears throughout the audience. It is, truly, an inspiring poem. I try to live my life so that someone will honor me with these words. Thank you for all you have done and for this awesome poem.

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Ken Nwosu October 25, 2011 at 12:50 am

Great poetry, great philosophy to live by!
You’re really a breath of fresh air, a flagrant aroma.
Keep up the good work.
I am convinced you will be richly rewarded in this life and eternity!

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Stop Bullying Now! December 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

I loved being a teacher. I know that society and the government told me that what was important was test results. I always knew there was something more important. This poem sums up perfectly how I wanted to be remembered as a teacher. That is why I helped begin our anti-bully program. I wanted my kids to know that at least in my room they were safe! I continue that quest today. Thank you for a wonderful piece that also told my story!!!!!!! Jane

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christine January 7, 2013 at 3:03 am

thanks for being an inspiration..

Reply

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