December 29, 2009

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

davidDavid W. Deuth, CFSP
President, Weerts Funeral Home

Abraham Lincoln had a way with words. Perhaps that he commonly used so few served only to amplify their command; that he chose them so carefully only amplified their effect. The beauty of the above statement lies not only in its brevity but in its profound simplicity.

There’s a lot to like about Lincoln’s insight in these brief words, perhaps most notably the fact that it leaves the door wide open to possibility with respect to “whatever you are.”

Over the years, I’ve heard countless people tell me that they sure wouldn’t want my job. Some say they wouldn’t want the 24/7 schedule, others say they couldn’t be around grieving people all the time – and that’s before we even start talking about caring for those after they have died!

Many of you know that my wife, Linda, is a first grade teacher. And my usual response to people who say they wouldn’t want my job is that I’m grateful I’m not required to spend my day with 25 first graders – because I don’t think I’m cut out for that!

Isn’t it great that we’re all equipped to do different things? Some are craftsmen and builders. Others have vast medical, legal or accounting knowledge. Farmers make sure we have a food supply. Teachers are committed to educating our future generations. Others are specially trained and standing by when we need emergency help with police,
ambulance and fire services.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have found the work that we’re best suited for. And I feel very blessed that way because I do enjoy what I do.

But perhaps the greater blessing in all of it is that one can complement many others for the common good of all. Somewhere, someone’s job is to make hammers. Someone else makes the nails. Another works in the lumber mill where the logs are made into the 2x4s and 2x6s and the like. Someone else builds the saws and other tools. And someone else designs and draws the project to specification.

Then someone else knows exactly how to use the saw, how to grip the hammer and steady the nail, how to follow the plans and measure and cut the wood. And what a tragedy it would be if someone didn’t have the knowledge and skill necessary to put it all together and create the final product.

As we begin a new year, it may be a good time to reflect on what we do – and how we do it. Whether we are mindful of it or not, what we do – and don’t do – has significant bearing upon the lives of others. And I think it was meant to be that way.

Do what you like. Like what you do. Make a difference for someone else.

And whatever you are, be a good one.

Remember Well.

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