Sunday Post 115: Making a difference in the World

Before Lisa died, I don’t think I spent much time thinking about the difference I was making in the world.  I wanted to be a good dad, positively impacting my children and raising them with a strong moral foundation.  I wanted to be good to my extended family – working to give back to them some of what they’d shared with me.  I had a desire to be good at my work, but I wonder if that came more from an internal competitive drive than from altruistic desires.

I’ve been to funerals where there was little said about what the person who died had accomplished in life.  They’re short.  The minister hardly knows the poor soul in the casket.  He works hard to string together enough bland sentences to fill the ten minute homily.

That’s not what I want.

Lisa was born with the gift of leadership.  Her parents taught her to drive forward, to be her best, to make a difference.  She came out swinging.    She accomplished a lot in her short life.

Seeing the difference she made, over and beyond our family and close friends, has driven me to take an inventory of my accomplishments.  What are my talents?  Am I using them to the best of my ability?  Am I focused on making my life easier, or am I working to make the world a better place?

I don’t think it’s necessarily about the number of people who attend your funeral.  Life may not be about selling all of your possessions and moving to impoverished Africa.  But I think it is about doing the most with what you’ve been given.

Sometimes I think I hide my gifts out of laziness or even out of humility.  Is that making life better for anyone else or am I taking the easy way out?

When I die, I hope my minister will be working to weed through all the great accomplishments of Danny Tanner, not grasping for something nice to say.

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5 Comments

  1. We all hope to achieve something in life…..
    Maybe people don’t even realize if we manage to do that…
    But we’re making our best!

    Reply
  2. Joyce

     /  April 14, 2013

    I have known you many years, Danny Tanner. From our times at YLife camp to regular day camp, you always worked to make others’ lives better. This I know.

    Reply
  3. Wanda Easley

     /  April 14, 2013

    I think you’re helping a lot of people and making a wonderful contribution through this blog. With hopes of helping and inspiring others, especially a friend who lost her child, I’ve sent many of your posts on to friends and family members. And I, personally, am inspired and impressed with what a great dad you are and with your warm, loving tributes to Lisa. God bless you and yours!

    Reply
  4. Miriam

     /  April 15, 2013

    I suspect that the people who even think about these things are the ones who are making a difference.

    Reply

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