The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
This week, my friend Bob is leaving.
A new assignment in a new place means letting go of the old. I thought a lot about that this past weekend as I sat among friends that I left nearly two years ago. Change can be exciting, but it also means letting go of good things and good friends. Someone has wisely observed that the only consistent part of life is change. But despite its frequency, change is hard.
In such times, I think you reflect a lot on how your life truly affected others. People often don’t think about the contribution your life makes to theirs until it stops making that contribution. So what will they miss?
My friend, Bob, is one of those guys who makes everyone feel better when he’s around. He keeps things fun and gives value to everyone around him, and that’s the way he’s lived for many years in this place. He’s a really good guy. And that’s a legacy that will last.
I can’t recall who said it, but I like the quote, “People won’t remember what you do, but they will remember how you made them feel.” That’s an idea that runs counter to our cultural priority on performance and achievement. But it’s true. As my friend, Bob, leaves for new places, those who encountered him will remember him well.
My point isn’t to be sentimental or to magnify the sorrow connected to a friend’s departure. Instead, I want to encourage you and challenge you to think about what remains when you leave a room. Life is more than your to-do list and people are more than the vehicles to help you get your stuff done. They are your friends, and when you treat them that way, good things begin to grow.
I grew up in a water-skiing family. And, I’ve spent hours watching the wake a boat makes as it speeds across the water. You can have a lot of fun with those waves. Or they can cause you some real problems. It seems life works like that too. Your life leaves a wake for others to swim in. Do what my friend, Bob, did and make it a fun one.
Remember that relationships are the best stuff of life. Give them your best so people won’t be relieved when you leave the room. Instead, give them reason to remember you well.
Best wishes, Bob.