CREDOS : Lucky dog — I

A friend asked me recently, “How do you want to be remembered?” I guess I’ve thought about that a few times. I will turn 58 next month and admit that this question has moved to the forefront when I’m making plans for the future. I found myself asking my wife the other day what she thought. “Well, first of all, you’ll be remembered as giving, kind, and generous,” she said.

That was nice. I’d like to be remembered that way. “Would they see me as successful?” I asked. “Yes, of course. Success is measured in many ways,” she added. So I wasn’t financially successful. That’s okay. I never thought of that as a part of success anyway. So, how do I want to be remembered? Over the next few days I made it a mission to evaluate who I thought I was and what others thought about me.

As outgoing as I am, I could never begin asking my friends and family, “What do you think of me?” I thought that would be too egotistical. This wasn’t going to be easy. The more I thought about it the worse I felt. The more I asked myself what others thought, the more I believed it wouldn’t be good. Then I came across a note I had jotted on an index card sometime ago.

“Don’t worry about your reputation. Reputation is based on opinion, how others judge you based on their ideals, prejudices, and self-image. Worry more about your character.” When I was in grade school, my teachers would often tell my parents that “Bob is quite a character.” I often wondered what that meant. —