This exercise answers the question: "How do I want to be remembered?" When I was teaching, I assigned it in tandem with my "Imagine You're Ninety" exercise. (See my 8/18/08 posting.) In essence, you're writing your epitaph. Sound morbid? Just try it. I think you'll find it an enlivening challenge.
Instructions:Here are some examples my students came up with:
- Once again, imagine that you're 90, taking your last breath.
- What would you hope to have inscribed on your tombstone?
What's the objective? Whatever you set out to accomplish in life, you don't want to lose your humanity in the process. This exercise helps you keep focused on what's most important to you.
- Honesty - Integrity - Humanity
- A Teacher to the End
- Pioneering Scientist & Physician
- A Friend to Nature & All Living Things
- Loving Husband - Caring Father - Loyal Friend
Note: Pictured above is my dad's tombstone.