By Gil Rubio
Some time ago, a dear friend of mine posted that she had attended a
Celebration of Life for a friend of hers.
She said it was most remarkable in that each and every person of the
many who spoke, described him as … “Kind”.
Somehow that thought touched me in a profound way …
How would I, or any of us, be remembered?
What one word would describe us?
What one word would describe what we had done in our Life,
or how we affected those around us, or the World around us?
Given that thought, how does it change the way you carry yourself?
Or does it?
Just a few weeks ago, I spoke of my lifelong friend at his Memorial Mass.
He was a Carpenter and a Musician. Growing up, we were both Altar Boys
in our Church, and we played in a few Bands together over the years.
Mark had a long Marriage and he and his Wife raised two very
respectful and thoughtful children. He loved his Family and his
Friends, and the Church was full of people of all different walks of
life to pay their respects. A testament to how many he had touched
somehow throughout his life.
As I spoke of my friend and brother, I thought of several one word
descriptions of him: Kind, Strong, Gentle, Talented, Funny, Faithful,
Loyal, Family, Brother, Friend, True …
Some of us are destined to do great things and have great accomplishments.
But that doesn’t describe the person we are.
We may solve the most pressing problem the World over,
but yet and still, what kind of person were we to achieve that?
Compassionate, Clever, Genius, Inspiring, Patient, Demanding, Driven …
Some of us see ourselves as Funny, yet in reality others see us as Sarcastic …
Condescending, Annoying, Obnoxious …
It is not how we see ourselves that matters.
It is what we project to the World around us through our Actions.
How we are perceived from the other side.
Some do wonderful and gracious things,
but only for the recognition that they will garner,
rather than for the right reason.
Doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do,
… Regardless of any notice being taken.
One would hope that we have done well in our lives, are grateful,
have a loving family and good friends, and left a good impression and
a lasting mark somehow.
We can’t all save the World or create the most beautiful Art.
We don’t all possess the same talents and can’t all do the same things.
Maybe we can never leave a physical and tangible mark in the World.
But we can all spread light from within and encourage each other.
We can Aspire to Inspire.
Maybe our Smile, our gift of Love, our willingness to help another
will be our greatest accomplishment.
If there is indeed a Judgment Day for us, I think that no matter what
our beliefs are,
it is more about what we do “with”, “to” and “for” our brothers and
sisters on the planet that we share,
that will ultimately be what we are judged by.
I would hope that means we treat each other with kindness and respect
while we tolerate each other’s point of view.
No matter what our accomplishments are and what we have achieved in life,
perhaps our greatest achievement is to be thought of, and remembered
as … Kind.
From the author: I will be turning 60 in September, and with each passing year, I am
more grateful for all of Life itself! Each day is precious and a blessing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to try and be a better person each day. I’m sure I fail miserably a lot, but I still try to start my day with a big bowl of Gratitude and No Expectations on the side.
I am grateful to still be Operations Manager at Ryan Ranch Printers in Monterey, California, where I teach 5th & 10th Grade Catechism, serve as an English lector and lead a bilingual choir at the church I grew up in. I am also the leader and principal songwriter of Red Beans & Rice, a blues-inspired, New Orleans-influenced band in its 24th year with 6 CD releases to its credit. I am proud to say we are currently working on our 7th release.
Editor’s note: “Kind” is a word that would aptly describe my cousin Gil, the youngest of three children born to my godmother Aunt Lupe (my mother’s oldest sister) and her late husband Salvador. Gil’s spiritual side and his gift of just the right words inspires me to aspire to be a better person.
Tomorrow: Nike Bentley, Finding Abby