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Lessons From the Past

Walking through a cemetery provides me with a sense of grounding, enhancing my humility. As I pass by the graves of individuals who were born prior to the establishment of the United States, and those who entered this world before the Civil War and passed away after both World Wars, I am reminded of the passage of time.

In my local cemetery, there are two graves that catch my attention, belonging to men who were influential during the late 19th century. These men rest in large tombs atop prominent hills, overlooking the surrounding plots. However, if I asked hundred people today about their knowledge of these men, 99 and a half would be clueless.

One of them had a mansion named after him, while the other constructed a hospital in honor of his mother. Yet, here we are, a few generations later, and their names have faded. This serves as a reminder to me that although the work we engage in today holds importance, both it and we will soon be forgotten.

Meanwhile, we should keep in mind our fellow citizens and how we treat them. Do we treat them with kindness, respect, and a cheerful demeanor? The strength of any community lies in the bonds formed among its citizens. 

I know that I will join these people on the hillside of a cemetery someday.  And I may fade into obscurity in a few generations.  That is OK.  If I am focusing on how I am treating my fellow citizens today, I can pass that forward to the generations who will not recognize my name.

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