I just left my sorority sister’s funeral. I often leave funerals knowing so much more about the person than when I came. This makes me happy and sad. Happy because it is wonderful to know that the people you surround yourself with are living such a rich and blessed life and sad because I wish I knew more about them when they were living. It’s hard to know everything about a person.
Various proclamations from community organizations were given. It was beautiful to see the respect that these organizations had for my soror. It made me think though about how we are showing our love, respect and appreciation for people while they’re living.
It also made me think about the dash. The dash in between when you’re born and when you die and what you’re doing with that dash. Who are you helping? Are you living out your purpose? What will people say about you at your funeral? Each time I attended funeral I think about these things. But this one had me think about them even more. This particular soror was someone who was very direct. She pulled no punches and sat on many boards in the community and held many positions in my sorority chapter. At my last interaction with her, she asked me to autograph my newly published book. I can tell that she was happy for me and that she admired how much I have grown since we first met almost a decade ago. But I never knew the affect that she had on the community in which she lived for over 50 years. She was private about all the accolades that she had received. I only heard about most of them today at the funeral. She was very involved in education and helping the kids of the community. Her dash was very well lived. Now I am contemplating my dash. What will I do with my dash? What legacy will I leave? What will you do with your dash? What legacy do you want to leave?
Purpose. If you’ve read The Diva Inc. Magazine, you know that 2015 is the year of Power and Purpose for me. After attending this funeral is made me want to live out that purpose, my purpose, even more. I’ve been sitting here thinking what obstacles have I let get in the way of me living out my purpose? And if I continue to let these obstacles get in my way, how will I be able to do the will of God? How will I be able to live out my purpose and give back to my community? I admit sometimes I get discouraged. Sometimes life comes along and smacks me right in the face and I want to give up. But then things like this happen and I start to put things into perspective. It’s not the obstacles in your life that define who you are, its how you handle them that defines you. It’s how you reach back and help someone jump over those obstacles that you had to knock down.
When I die, as we all will, I want to be remembered as someone who loved hard, gave back often and who was committed to her principles. I want to be known as someone who valued relationships, real relationships. One who was always happy when others are happy and blessed. One who lived out her purpose by helping others live out theirs. What do you want to be known for? How do you want to live out your dash?
Who are you helping? It’s easy to hear all the accolades of someone at a funeral and compare yourself to them, and think I’m not doing enough. Everyone has their own road to travel. But, we can all help someone along the way. Part of purpose and living out this purpose is about whom you can help along the way. I believe your testimony is the most powerful tool that you can use to help and guide others. Sharing your testimony with one person can affect many. All of us can help out in our own way. We don’t have to do it the same way to be affective, but we can all help. Whether that’s serving food to the homeless, whether that’s writing a book that shares our story, whether that’s ministering the gospel, whether that’s getting involved with politics in order to bring about change in our community or just simply building relationships with the people who are closest to you we all can help someone and in someway.
Lets honor the dash by committing to live out our purpose on purpose. Build meaningful relationships. Give back to the community. Strive to be excellent. Make mistakes. Pick each other up. Fall down a few times. Get back up. Love hard. Laugh often. Don’t take for granted those conversations you have with each other. Forgive much. Hold grudges less. Be purposeful in your living. Honor the dash.