You should know.
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One thing I have learned over the years is three simple words: you should know.
You should know that at some point or another you will bump into someone who knows you, who remembers you, who has heard of you. And just what will that be? What will have been remembered or said about you? Life isn’t like Vegas, “what happens there, stays there.” Life and reputation have a tendency to sneak up on you when you least expect it. Will you be prepared?
Moments we wish hadn’t happened
Of course, we have all had moments that we wish had never happened or words we wish we could retract. There was this one time when I got caught myself saying some mean things about a co-worker. The mean things I was saying were true and her own reputation and actions eventually caught up with her – she was fired, but I didn’t need to lower myself to her level or act in such a manner. And of course, the time I unwittingly flipped the bird at a former church leader is a keeper. But it’s nice when, every once and a while, the thing that comes back to haunt you is a good thing.
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Upon moving to a new area a few years ago, I was able to get my son involved with a local soccer team that was part of AYSO. It was a lot of fun and given that he was thirteen, it is very unusual that someone his age would be a beginner, but he was and it got him involved in a new community, making new friends. I love watching my kids play sports, or deliver speeches, or perform on stage, or just tell a story. And though I am sure I will regret saying this, I actually did love being a soccer mom. Especially now that my son is almost 6 feet tall and is more interested in texting girls than kicking a soccer ball.
Yep, that’s me…
At one of my son’s games, a friend who was also one of the other moms asked me why I was green in a recent picture on Facebook. I told her about a show in which I played a Martian several years ago called Santa Claus Conquered the Martians. It was based on one of the worst movies ever made, but as it turns out, is a delightful play, well-loved and well-attended, where I used to live. This little play has consistently sold out performances and is returning for its seventh straight year, though I only participated in the show one of those years. One of the other moms overheard us talking and asked me to repeat what I had just said. We discovered that she had actually traveled for over an hour to attend a performance of this little show with her husband and three boys during the year that I had been in the show. They had a great time and loved the show – it was a priceless family memory for them.
The next game, I planted my soccer mom chair next to this same mom and she said, “Guess what I found,” as she produced a picture of her family on the set of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, surrounded by the entire cast – of which I was a part. I was in the picture that she and her family had taken in 2007. We had never met until I relocated for my job and our sons played soccer together three years later. But she had been a part of my life and I had been a part of hers, as documented by the photo in her hand. We had turned in a good performance that night and her family had a great time. A great memory.
You Should know
We don’t need to leave a huge legacy but respectful thoughts and fond memories would be nice. What will you be remembered for? During a time when networking is such a big part of business, reputation is a much greater thing. How you conduct business, how you are perceived, the lessons you teach, the lessons you learn, the information you share – they are all part of your little legacy.
How will you be remembered? You should know.
**This picture arrived in my inbox a week or two after our memories had been jogged
– it is indeed a small world…