I recently read about the death of young basketball star, Lauren Hill (not the singer). In reading about Ms. Hill, I also viewed a video about her life and success as a basketball great. What impressed me most was her never give up spirit. She was determined to live the best life possible regardless her diagnosis and prognosis. (For those not familiar with Lauren Hill, she recently died of a brain tumor at the age of 19.) As I sat watching Ms. Hill’s video, I couldn’t help but cry. What a fighting spirit she had and what an example she left for all of us.
The story of Lauren caused me to pause and question my own legacy. What, if any impression am I making on those around me. Am I seen as someone to look up too? Is my life an example for others to follow? When they look at me do they see a woman of God or just a woman?
I once heard a saying about the dates and wording on tomb stones; it went something like this, “When you look at a tombstone, you see a name, something nice about the person, the year they were born and the year they died…and a small dash in between. The dash…it’s what we do between the time we’re born and the time we die…that’s what’s most important. It’s critical because the dash is your identity…it’s who you are—husband, wife, mom, dad. The dash is your influence…it’s how you touch the lives of others. The dash is your legacy…it’s what you’ll leave behind to future generations.” Mark Merrill.
Young Lauren Hill died a hero in my eyes and the eyes of many others because of what she chose to do with her dash. She chose to be an example to other children living with and fighting cancer. She used her energy when not on the court to raise awareness to childhood cancer. Ms. Hill used her dash to make a difference.
In the year 2000, I lost a sister to ovarian cancer. I vowed not allow her death to be in vain. My dream and my goal was to start a non-profit in her honor and raise awareness to ovarian cancer. I made a written plan and enlisted the help of a relative who started a successful non-profit in her late daughter’s honor. Fifteen years later, I’ve done nothing. After viewing Lauren Hill’s video, I decided to move forward with my plans by hosting an event this fall for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and donating the proceeds to ovarian cancer research.
It doesn’t take much to be a hero in someone’s eyes. It may be something as simple as helping children or seniors learn to read. Volunteering at the local food bank or shelter or becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister to a young person who needs guidance. I challenge you to join me and embrace the hero in you and make a difference in our world. Goodness knows this world can use it and what better time than now.
If you belong to an organization making an impact on your community or if you’re doing something on your own to improve our world, drop me a note in the comments section and let me know. I’d love to hear from you and you never know who you may inspire.
Savannah J. providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life.
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