Imagine your funeral, no don’t get morbid about it. The truth is we all know that death is inevitable. Now again, imagine your funeral. Hopefully, present on this day to celebrate the life you lived will be your family, friends, coworkers, employees, etc. Now envision the moment everyone is invited to share a memory they have of you, what will they say? Notice how the question is phrased? “What will they say”? not, “What do you expect them to say”? It might seem trivial for you to know the answer to that question but I believe every person should. People only remember how they felt when they were around you or interacted with you.
A conviction is a firmly held belief or opinion. It is a fixed principle of sorts in which a person possesses an unwavering belief in something. If one has an unwavering belief in something, shouldn’t it then follow that they will rather die than have that belief taken away from them? In other words, a conviction is “A belief / set of principles that we are willing to die for”.
Everyone lives by a set of principles and it is expressed in several ways. Love your neighbor as yourself, do unto others as you want them to do unto you, karma etc. These principles, govern our daily interactions with the people around us. The problem is, when we think about it, how many of these principles are we willing to die for? And if we can give it up for the threat of death, then is it worth it?
Adolf Hitler chose death over disgrace from surrendering, because he was convinced of the supremacy of the Aryan race. Martin Luther King Jr. lived his life fighting for the rights of minorities in the United States and died for it. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison fighting for abolishment of Apartheid in South Africa. Think about it, every single person who has made an impact on this world, positive or negative, had/has a set of beliefs that they either did or are willing to die for. Martin Luther King Jr. without even knowing it, wrote his own eulogy “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” (1)
I want to make a dent on the world, most of us do. The reality however, is we cannot do it unless we are convicted of something we truly believe in. This needs to be a principle that we would rather die for than give up. It’s through these convictions that we can make an impact on the world. It’s absolutely right to chase success and recognition, but we should not compromise our principles in doing so. I haven’t figured everything out yet either, but the next time you think about those values and beliefs you hold, consider this. How far are you willing to go to hold true those beliefs?
Consider your Eulogy. Will your convictions shine through when people speak about you?
Till next time