Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Measure of a Man

Recently, I attended a viewing for a friend's father. The service was held in an LDS stake center. The line stretched down one hall, into the cultural hall, then wound around until it was almost circling the room. For those of you who have not been in a stake center, the cultural hall is actually a regulation sized basketball court. Imagine how many people it takes to wrap around a court. We were in line for about an hour and a half. In that time, the line never went down. It was amazing. What a testament to a person's legacy. One of his daughters remarked that anyone who knew him instantly liked him, and if anyone didn't there was obviously something wrong with them. It was a very thought provoking experience. How many people who know me would stand in a line that long to pay their respects? What type of legacy am I going to leave behind? Do I do enough for my faith, for my community and for my family? How do I treat others? How will I someday be remembered.

I contrasted that with the position my dear parents have chosen. They chose to retire and move from Morgan to Ivins. Since they've been in Ivins, it's been hard for them to make friends and get to know people. They have avoided interactions with members of their faith. They live far enough away that it's hard for most of the family to stay in touch with them. I love them tons, and certainly don't judge them for the choices they have made in their retirement years. But I do think I've learned from them, and realize how important it is to stay active and involved. I do think they might have been happier if they had chosen to differently. I hope to learn from these two lessons and make choices in life that will help me be happy and to stay happy. It's seems to me one of the keys to a happy life is to give of yourself to others. I believe you receive far more back than you ever gave away.

4 comments:

Charlotte said...

I am grateful for two parents who have always been honest and true. They are both good people, who have spent a lifetime doing for others. I remember Dad saying how valuable a good name is. He never wanted to charge someone too much for hay, because his name was more valuable to him than a few extra bucks.

Mike Elquist said...

right on Charlotte. Mom and Dad are great. I was mainly just thinking about these last years, when they have become isolated.

Mike Elquist said...

And you are right, they have been great parents. All I am saying is that I want to make sure I stay physically close to family, and involved in my church and community, to help me be happy as I grow older. That's all. They just seem so isolated and alone at this time in their life. Thank goodness you and your kids are somewhat close to help them.

Thoughts by Grandma said...

Rachel and kids take dinner in each Friday, and visit with them. Dad always makes the kids chocolate milk, and Nate loves to hold his hand and walk around the backyard. I have them for dinner almost every Sunday. I'm glad we are here to help them. They need all of us right now.