Leave a Legacy

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I’ve got a question. Feel free to answer it if you know. Who was the leading scorer on Westminster Christian Academy’s varsity basketball team……in 1991? Obviously, this question is meant to be unanswerable. Unless you are a WCA alum or a longstanding faculty member, you haven’t been around long enough to know. It was simply too long ago.

Now I know what you are thinking. Why is he asking us such a dumb question? First, let me do some explaining. During the 1991-92 school year, it was likely common knowledge on who was the leading varsity basketball scorer. Hell, it was probably common knowledge in 1993, too. But what about 1995? 2000? 2016?

The point is, success such as this is fleeting. I bet it was really cool to be that guy in 1991 (it was Jeremy Marsh, in case you were wondering), but the fame probably didn’t last long. Why? Is it because it’s not noteworthy? No. Is it because no one cares? 25 years ago, this was not the case. So, why? Why is it that athletic fame does not last long?

This idea of short lived fame has really been on my mind lately. Recently, my youth sports career ended. For 14 years of my life, hockey was an integral part of my day to day existence. Then it was suddenly over. As I reflected on this, I noticed a reoccurring theme throughout my years as a hockey player: I was grossly unremarkable. The thought of me being a highlight-reel athlete is comical. It may sound selfish, but this fact really bugged me. Truthfully, I was very hard on myself. At times, I felt that my time as a hockey player was a waste. It took some brutal honesty to change my mind. As I reminisced on my time as an athlete with my coach, I jokingly commented on my lack of exceptionality. He laughed, and I’ll never forget what he said.

“Nobody gives a rip.”

Initially, my feelings were a little hurt, but then I thought about it. Upon reflection, I’m glad no one cares about my, or any athletes, fame. It’s not just athletic recognition, too.  I am so glad that no one cares about economic, academic, or cultural success either. If a person’s life was judged based upon fleeting things such as this, it’s fair to say that life would be stressful. Perhaps this is why life is so stressful. We constantly try to seek greatness in things that mean nothing in the long run, and people judge us on it.

The question is, what do we do? Obviously, I am not saying to quit sports. They’re fun, and don’t quit something that you enjoy. But the question still remains, and frankly I do not have a definitive answer. The only thing I can say is to strive for things with meaning. When it’s all said and done, you won’t remember how many goals you scored. You won’t remember what grade you got on your math test. You won’t remember what brand your shoes were. You’ll remember the people you met. The relationships you had. So impact the people around you. Love them. Leave a legacy. Trust me, you’ll be remembered.

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