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—  ]

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,


Forgetting to Think

One of life’s greatest pitfalls is forgetting to think. Rushing ahead to make a snap decision, allowing emotion or passion to have unabated reign, plunging headfirst (not necessarily with brain in tow) into fool-hearty acts, all have eventual consequences. Sometimes these consequences can be quite serious; unwanted pregnancy, loss of life (your own, for one), the unintentional ending of another’s life, loss of a job, divorce, loss of trust. Forgetting to think is, well…, thoughtless.

Assembling the proper ingredients in the mixing bowl of the mind is fundamental to the thought process— gathering information, insight & opinion from others, testing the idea, waiting…, waiting some more. Asking, What could go wrong with this course of action? What is the probability it might go wrong? What is the seriousness if it does? Build a model or prototype, if appropriate.

Of course, if you are between the ages of 13-21, little of this may matter. Your hormones have undoubtedly circumvented your thought processes and you are predisposed to act on the moment’s emotion with thinking, and regrets, following later. If you are 21-40, you are more than likely to think about yourself and how you can get ahead or what’s in it for me. [We seem to become such a needy species in this period.] To be sure, though, some of us are not like this: we think of what we can give to better serve our planet and its inhabitants. We are known as the humanitarians, the servants of industry, social workers, missionaries, soldiers…, the ones who give their lives for the lives of others.

If you are between ages 40-60, you are (or should be) thinking about what you will leave behind— your legacy, the impression that will remain with those who follow. If you have not built a foundation for this stage it may be a strenuous time on the road, a surprising time. But it is also a critical one in life’s journey.

Wherever you are along the road of life, the shift to thinking will be sparked by one common consideration— thinking about the effects your actions have on others rather than thinking about what you can personally gain. To never come to this point, no matter your age, is to decide to live a life of perpetual self-gratification and self-absorption. It is to instill an incessant imbalance within between personal desire and human responsibility and kindness toward others.

May God help you!

Or…, change.  Think about it.

Have a nice day,