Death and The Moral Highground

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It’s been about three weeks since the passing of John McCain, and subsequently, three weeks since the polarization of Twitter. Some people respected John McCain for his many years of service to the American people, while some felt (frankly) like the country and its politics were better off without him. This blog is not meant to take a political stance, so I won’t delve into his politics and my opinion on them. I will, however, ask you all to consider whether or not a person’s passing is grounds for them to be absolved of their wrongdoing.

Have you ever been to the funeral of someone who had a relatively questionable moral existence and heard the eulogist, family, and friends talk about how they’re in a, “much better place,” or, “smiling down on us?” If so, then you’ve also probably thought to yourself, “are they really, though?” Barring heinous acts of crime, at what point do we look at a person’s worldly impact and admit that they probably weren’t the best thing to happen to us and could possibly be spending their eternity in the portion of the afterlife not reserved for the moral and spiritual elite.

Where do we draw the line? Especially for people like John McCain who do have a history of bravery and heroism, where do the moral waters get murky? John McCain’s decisions impacted hundred of thousands of people. What about the people whose actions don’t have the same reach, but still didn’t do right by the small number of people they did impact? What are the rules, and who is dignified enough to make them?

Maybe we never will have the official answer to these questions, but it isn’t beyond us to consider how our daily actions and interactions affect others. It also isn’t beyond us to consider our legacy and how we want to be remembered long after we’ve departed this earth. If we want to be remembered with smiles, we have to begin to embody that every day. It’s impossible for every single person you ever encounter to like you, but I want the overwhelming majority to look down at me in my casket with fondness. I would hate for someone at my funeral to say I’ve “gotten my wings” and half of the church agrees while the other half goes:

 Conceited

Drop a comment and let us know how you’d like to be remembered!

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