The Best You Can Do

We enter the world with a toolbox and time. How we use both determines our legacy.

Along the way, events around us offer up obstacles and opportunities to apply our tools, to sharpen our skills, to benefit from bruises and refocus on two key questions: Why are we here? And what are we going to do about it?

Every sunrise brings a new chance to put tools and experience to work, to do the best that we can do with what we have. Each sunset is an occasion to ponder lessons learned and adjust our trajectory to write a fresh chapter tomorrow.

Time teaches us how accolades, material wealth, perceived power are addictive, temporary and deceptive. They can lure us to desire more of the same and distract from the real purpose of existence: To contribute to a better world.

The self-actualized eventually find out that true resilience is proportionate to resistance and rewards are richer when they center on how we helped someone else.

Acceptance of who we are opens the door to what we can become. Setbacks transform into stepping stones toward destiny. Curiosity can reveal invisible pathways to prosperity. Tenacity strengthens resolve on the extra mile.

All of these gems of wisdom are seen by some as clichés. To others they are the ingredients of authentic achievement, polishing the rear-view mirror to reflect a person who never gave up, did their best and made a difference.

Eventual surrender to depleting sand in the hour-glass is inevitable. But even as our powers fade, we can teach others powerful lessons about courage, inquisitiveness and compassion with the tools we have left.

Stars often burn brightest in their final orbit.

Charles Spurgeon points to the importance of finding joy in experiences and connections, not in material wealth. “It’s not how much we have,” he said, “but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”

And true legacy is built not on what we were given, but how we chose to use it.

For Pam Frisinger MacKinnon: 1955-2024