Letter to the editor: McCain said to have ‘truly lived a life that mattered’

As you all must know by this point American lost a great statesman, veteran and citizen. He was certainly an individual that I greatly admired, not for his politics, in that I sometimes disagreed with his position and politics, but rather for his character and both his moral and physical courage.
Sen. McCain, knowing he had a terminal illness, planned his funeral, as well as wrote his farewell. In this farewell he indicated, “I lived and died a proud American,” and further went on to say, “I would not trade a day of my life.”
Thinking about this great loss I remembered an article written by Michael Josephson, a dear friend of mine, in 2003. With Michael’s permission his musing entitled “What Will Matter” is below. This is truly a roadmap on how we all should live our lives and I wanted to share it. I think you will understand how it reminded me of the departed Senator…
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage,
Or, sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
Sen. John McCain truly lived a life that mattered. His life embodied service and patriotism and truly epitomized “for God and Country.”
Tom Scanlon

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