Since taking a position outside of the classroom three years ago, I always get a little antsy as the school year approaches. No matter how much I enjoy my current role (and I enjoy it very much), I can’t help but miss the buzz of the year’s beginning in a school. Wide eyes of incoming students starting a brand new year of physics classes, smiles and high-fives from colleagues in the hallway, energizing exhaustion from organizing and re-organizing the classroom space: few experiences match the energy of those moments in the year.
In that vein, I was driving home this afternoon reflecting on an old adage: “Gone, but not forgotten.” It’s a sentiment often saved for retirements and funerals, but it could be applied for any of us that have moved to a new role, a new school, a new profession. I started hoping that while I may be gone from the classroom I “lived in” for 7 years, I am not forgotten in the eyes of those former students and co-workers.
I ruminated on that sentiment for a few minutes…and then I considered its opposite:
“Here, but not remembered.”I’m guessing it goes without saying that the former would easily trump the latter. But how many of us have considered whether or not we will be remembered for what we do right now? Another adage comes to mind, one which was debatably coined by either Confucius, the Buddha, or my Uncle Jim: “No matter where you go…once you get there, you look around, and there you are.” And just like the mall directory always points out for us:
What will you do today, while you are wherever “here” is for you, to ensure that you are remembered? That one day, you will be gone, but not forgotten?I’m hopeful that every day, each of us can drive home thinking, “If I’m remembered for that, I have lived a good life.” The question is, how did today stack up against that vision?