誰會記得你的名字?

By Robert J. Tamasy

派翠克‧摩利(Patrick Morley)是暢銷書「鏡中的男人」的作者,數十年前他是基督徒男士運動的先鋒,他是一位對人性觀察入微的人。最近他成立了一個部落格,評論了一位當地非常成功的商人和慈善家。

摩利寫道:「這位成功人士的名字經常出現在媒體上,他出名的程度是我們無法想像的。然而十年之後我再次聽到他的名字的時候,我根本記不起來他是誰?」有很多名人也是如此。因此,他向讀者提出一個問題:「當你去世十年之後,還有人會記得你的名字嗎?」對於掙扎於生命優先順序的人來說,這是一個很好的提醒。

摩利先生是對的。很多上頭條新聞、商業雜誌、新聞或是娛樂媒體的人,十年之後大概就會被遺忘,被其他當代的知名人士所取代。就像是在音樂領域出現的「一曲歌手」,他們可能出版了一兩首非常流行的歌,非常受歡迎,以至於幾乎每個人都會哼上一段,然後他們就消失了。之後,偶爾在廣播當中聽到他們的歌時,我們也記不得他們是誰了。

除了音樂界之外,在工商業和專業人士的領域裡,也常有這樣曇花一現的明星。因此,我們應該思考一個重要的問題:我們過世後十年,有誰會記得我們?如果有人仍然記得我們,是為什麼?

在聖經的箴言當中,我們可以看到很多引人深省的經文在強調虛浮的名聲消失得如此快。同時,我們也看到要如何建立好的、值得被紀念的名聲。

好的名聲是無價之寶。一個錯誤的判斷可能就毀了一個好名聲,能被紀念的好名聲需要花一輩子建立。「美名勝過大財;恩寵強如金銀。」 (箴言22章1節)

做一個大家會懷念的人,而不是急著想忘記的人。好的領袖,人會紀念,反之則急於忘記。「義人的紀念被稱讚; 惡人的名字必朽爛。」(箴言10章7節)「不要為作惡的心懷不平, 也不要嫉妒惡人; 因為,惡人終不得善報; 惡人的燈也必熄滅。」 (箴言24章19-20節)

把焦點放在永恆的事物上,而不是那些隨著時間就消滅的事物上。追求那些暫時的事物、隨時時間過去就沒有價值的東西是沒有意義的。這也就是為什麼耶穌要他的門徒把焦點放在永恆的事物上,而不是追求地上短暫就消失的東西。「不要為自己積攢財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。 只要積攢財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷。 因為你的財寶在哪裏,你的心也在那裏。」 (馬太福音6章19-20節)

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace);他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring他的雙週部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com

省思問題討論

你會如何回答這個問題:「當你去世十年之後,還有人會記得你的名字嗎?」 你覺得為什麼很多經常在媒體聚光燈下出現的名人,在去世後,或是事業走下坡之後,就被遺忘了呢? 你覺得要如何才能擁有好名聲?能被職場上的人尊榮、居住的社區或是這世代的人紀念? 你覺得「是否會被人們記得」這件事,是值得被關心的議題嗎?

註: 如果你手上有聖經,希望知道更多與這個主題相關的經文,請參考:箴言11章30節、箴言13章9節、箴言25章9-10節、箴言27章24節;馬太福音7章13-14節;腓立比書4章9節;提摩太後書2章2節

WHO WILL REMEMBER YOUR NAME?

By Robert J. Tamasy

Patrick Morley, who wrote the best-selling book, The Man in the Mirror, and became a pioneer in the Christian men's movement a few decades ago, is an astute observer of humankind. Recently he began a blog post by reflecting on “an enormously successful businessman and iconic philanthropist” in his city:

“His name was constantly in the press,” Morley wrote. “He was far more well-known than you or I will ever be, yet 10 years after the last time I heard his name, I cannot remember it. And there are many more just like him.” Then he asked his readers, “Who will remember your name 10 years after you die? What a great question by which to prioritize your life!”

Morley was right. Most of the people who make the headlines today, those whose names are heard almost daily in the business periodicals, news broadcasts, or entertainment media, will be long forgotten within a decade”s time, replaced by other more recently “famous” individuals. Think, for instance, of the “one-hit wonders” in the music industry. They recorded one or two popular songs that kept everyone humming for a while, then seemingly disappeared. Occasionally we might hear their songs again in the radio, but we are at a loss trying to remember who the recording artists were.

The same could be said about one-time “stars” in any field of endeavor, including the business and professional world. So the question is valid: Who will remember your name 10 years after you die – and if they do remember it, why?

In the Bible's book of Proverbs, we find a number of thought-provoking references that underscore how fleeting fame can be. We also can learn how to establish a name that will be remembered – and for good reasons:

A good name is priceless. A solid reputation can be destroyed in a moment of bad judgment, but a lasting legacy fondly remembered requires an entire lifetime to establish. “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

Be someone people want to remember, not are eager to forget. There are good leaders and bad leaders; bad ones are not likely to be remembered for long. “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot” (Proverbs 10:7). “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out” (Proverbs 24:19-20).

Focus on what will last, not on things that can be lost or rapidly decay over time. Temporal things, those that cannot be kept forever or that decline in worth over time, are vain pursuits. This is why Jesus instructed His followers to focus on the eternal, rather than the temporary: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

© 2017. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; and coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring, and has co-authored and edited numerous other books. His biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

How would you answer the question, “Who will remember your name 10 years after you die?” Why is it, do you think, that so many people that regularly appear in the public spotlight are forgotten after they die, or even soon after their careers come to an end? What can you do to ensure that long after you are gone – from the company where you work, from the community where you live, or even from this life – that people will remember your name, and for the right reasons? Do you think this should even be a concern, whether people will remember us years after our life on earth has come to an end? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:30, 13:9, 25:9-10, 27:24; Matthew 7:13-14; Philippians 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:2

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