We All Want To Be Remembered. How Will People Remember You?

Notes on the Sunday address by Dr Francis Macnab, 3 July 2016.
By John Abbate.

Memory gives us identity, personhood, a meaning to our existence and to the lives of others. Memory gives a context to every action. Memory opens doors.

Remember me, said Jesus. The sacrament of communion sits on several rememberings, said Dr Macnab. Of Jesus the man, we remember very little. Of much more consequence, however, is that we remember what Jesus pointed to: a better world, a better human community.

Dr Macnab asks, “How do you want to be remembered–as someone who caught a glimpse of good possibilities and responded to them? [Or] as someone who walked away from those possibilities and had nothing to say to them?“

In Tales of the Hassidim: The Early Masters, Martin Buber recounts the tale of Rabbi Zusya of Hanipol.

Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said, “In the coming world they will not ask me, Why were you not Moses? They will ask me, Why were you not Zusya?”

How will you be remembered? “Of course, it depends on your sense of worth,” said Dr Macnab. “Am I worth remembering? It depends on your sense of time. How long will I be remembered? It depends on the context of my life now, and my life already gone.”

Filter in the good memories and filter out the bad. And if the filter won’t function, hit the “release” button. The release button frees you from the “tyranny of the imprisoned self”, from your own negativities. It frees you to remember the best emotions.

Pause to remember, said Dr Macnab. “Remember your identity, tradition, context, the meaning you put on life, the emotions you brought to life, the purposes you pursued, the people that helped you…and the power of your mind as it filters out the ugly and filters in the good.”

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