Turning 40: Impact

wpid-PastedGraphic1.Y6YyogO1WfJF.jpgAs I mentioned in my Birthday For a Cause post last week, I turned 40 recently. This, along with multiple other factors going on in my life right now, has me introspective. I do believe I’ve got a couple posts in me on this topic, hopefully relatively quick hit kinds of items.

For starters, though, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of impact I’ve had on my world in my 40 years of living. In some ways, I can look back and be proud of some of the things I’ve been a part of. But I ran across a few names of people who died at the age of 39, and my resume is pretty slim by comparison. I am now older than the following men at the time of their deaths.

Che Guevara – controversial figure, to be sure . . . but someone who had enormous impact during his time, and who continues to be an icon of idealism.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – the German theologian, who was executed by the Nazi regime, as punishment for his participation in a failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler. The theological work he produced was stunning. Everyone interested in following Jesus better should read The Cost of Discipleship, and everyone interested in loving Jesus’ church better should read Life Together.

Martin Luther King Jr. – His impact on the civil rights movement in the United States was obviously huge. But my recent travels have shown me that his influence has been global. I’ve personally seen him memorialized in India, South Africa, Cuba, and the UK.

Having just passed these three in age, I’m more aware of my responsibility to make my life and work matter. I don’t feel any need to achieve some global fame for the things I do, but I do want these things to be worth more than a dollar figure or an impressive list of academic achievements. If I can avoid dying in the ways these men did, so much the better.

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  1. Bro,
    Just a thought, but based on your previous musings (even if it was almost 17 years ago) a review of Dead Poets Society may help.
    Hang in there.

  2. Andrew,

    That movie shall haunt me for the rest of my days. You’re always good for a laugh (even if it tends to be at my expense!). Good to hear from you.

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