Eulogy vs. Resume
Earlier this week, I attended Bentley University's Center for Business Ethics 40th Anniversary Conference. One of the speakers was discussing the concept of virtue in the workplace and during his talk he raised the question, "are you more concerned by your resume or your eulogy?"
That stuck with me. It hit home.
Last night as we sat watching television, a text from my Dad arrived letting me know about the passing of a long time family friend.
I was overcome with grief and began to cry. Dylan and Laura were not sure what was going on and it took me a bit to be able to say it.
Al Langley was a great man and had a huge impact on my youth and yet I have no idea what he did for a living.
Truly, if you were to offer me all the money in the world, I couldn't tell you what was on the man's resume, but I could tell you stories about who the man was.
We spent many hours out camping and canoeing. He was the man who I met with and learned from in order to earn my camping merit badge.
He'd give me crap for never having seen a John Wayne movie (which I still haven't done) and if we were not moving fast enough in the morning would shout that we were "burning daylight."
He wore silly hats and always had a toothful grin on his face.
Al was my Dads long time adventure partner. I always looked forward to the latest story of what Al had done hiking up a mountain or paddling around a corner on the river.
I have a feeling that there will be many at his funeral this weekend who have fond memories of the man. About what he taught them. About something silly he said or did.
I don't believe there will be much talk about his resume, because good humans are about more than what they do to make a living.
Years from now, when I lay my head down for the last time I hope I'm remembered as fondly about all that I've done for others rather than only what I accomplished inside of an office.
Rest in Peace Al. I'm going to miss you.