In the weeks, months, and years beyond the lives that we know right now, what will matter? Will it be the times that we went through the motions or those in which we truly felt alive? Are we going to remember the reasons why we didn’t get enough sleep, or the memories made and ideas thought while exhausted? In time, we will not remember jokes, but laughing. Not why we hurt, but the fact that we felt hurt. We will not remember the exact steps we took but we will remember how we became stronger, and how we lived better.
Over the passage of time, life’s specifics and the things that we are mandated to learn will turn out to be coincidental; the facts we learn, things we do, and words we hear and say will all fade. Titles, labels, grades, distinctions, and awards will grow old and wither away into irrelevance. What will matter is not what we were mandated to learn or do, but the lessons we learned in attempting to do so. What will matter is that through the struggle, the tears, and the confusion, we smiled. It will matter that we saw sun when there was rain, a tomorrow when today was never-ending, and held hope when there was none. Every life is different, and every life is beautifully inspired in its own way. So place emphasis not on that which can be easily learned, acquired, forgotten, and lost, but that which provokes thought, inspires feeling, and will create an impression more lasting than anything thought or felt by people who have come before.