Mohandas Gandhi (1948), John F. Kennedy (1963), Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1941), Abraham Lincoln (1865), Martin Luther King Jr. (1968), Malcolm X (1965), John Lennon (1980), Philip II of Macedon (336 bc) father of Alexander the Great, Empress Myeongseong, Queen of Korea (1895), Park Chung-hee, leader of South Korea (1979), King Henry IV, King of France (1610), Nicholas II, last Czar of Russia (1918), Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (2007), Commodus, Roman Emperor (192). [taken from— http://www.good.is/posts/the-15-most-infamous-assassinations-in-history ]
These are some of the more significant people who have been assassinated throughout history. There are more, to be sure. But this short list is unique: each played a role in shaping the lives of those around them on an immediate and world level. Their lives made a difference. Some more, some less.
On a recent trip to Colorado a well-known person of influence asked his leaders, “Would it matter to this state, this city, if our organization ceased to exist? Vanished off the face of the earth? Would anyone miss us?” It was quite the question. There are numerous organizations that this planet could well do without. [No, I will not suggest any lest I be boiled in oil.]
His question prodded me to wonder about the company I run. Would anyone miss us if we ceased to exist? Then it got personal— Would anyone miss me if I ceased to exist?
These two questions, in turn, led to a third— Is my life making a difference? Am I making any significant difference in the lives of those around me? In this nation? In our world?
I repeat, the question I wonder about is this— “Has my life been consequential enough to have made a profound contribution to anyone else?” My life, my passion, my work, have all sought to matter, to leave a gracious legacy to those who take up the torch after me.
How ‘bout you? This is big stuff; worth giving some thought.
For what it’s worth,