OK, let’s do it.
You see, yesterday I commented on my friend Victoria’s blog, on a post she wrote about our personal mission statement – that is, what our life is about, what we are trying to accomplish, what we are trying to be.
Victoria’s guidelines for writing a personal mission statement are straightforward and just a little macabre – imagine people talking about you at your funeral. What would you like them to say?
That’s your mission statement.
Now, I’ve been thinking about mortality a lot these last few months.
It comes in part from losing my father and being there to witness it, in part from the approaching 50th birthday, in part because I feel my old carcass is no longer working properly, and I sometimes worry.
But anyway, why not try and write a mission statement?
After all, I love talking about myself.
I’ll take a circuitous way.
When my grandfather died, people remembered him like a good man, and a just man.
That would be enough, for me.
But let’s get closer.
I’d like to be remembered for my curiosity, my too many interests and my passion for knowledge – any kind of knowledge, really.
For my willingness to share my knowledge and to teach others – telling stories, making them laugh, but trying to push on, to broaden the horizon. With everything I did: my research, my teaching, my stories, my games, my lectures and my eìrambling blog posts. Trying to do it right, sometimes doing it right.
Taking the risk of telling out the truth even when it was unpleasant – because an unpleasant truth is always better than a pleasant lie.
And if this caused some people to resent me, well, hopefully a lot of other people appreciated.
I’d like to be remembered as patient – moderately so.
And reasonably kind. And as someone that knew when to give up.
And then of course, it would be great to be an inspiration to others, but I’ll be happy just not being a warning for them.
And this, as they say, is it.
Is this my mission statement?
I don’t know – but I think it is a set of expectations I can try and measure up against.
All the rest will be improvisation from here on.