Some of you know that I graduated from East Carolina this past May, and if you saw me anytime within a few weeks after graduation you probably heard me complain about the commencement speaker, Tom Ross’s, address. He talked about eulogy virtues; basically how you should live your life so people say nice things about you when you die and for some reason I just could not wrap my head around it.
I mean, I got the point, and it is a great concept and all and probably something great to speak on if you need to whip out a speech last minute. However, to me it just did not make sense for a lot of reasons; partly because even if you were an absolutely horrendous person people are generally a lot nicer to you when you die anyway and mostly because I feel like I have enough things to worry about that will affect me when I am still living so people talking badly about me after I die is the least of my concerns because, well, I will be dead. But if we should not live by eulogy virtues, what virtues should we live by? I could not think of the answer to that question right then, so I posted a picture on Instagram in my graduation attire with a snarky “Currently panicking because I do not know what my eulogy will say” caption and went on my merry way. Different things give me ideas and inspire me to write, most of the time it is events in my own life, however with this article it was actually not that, not even the graduation speech that I rambled about for 250 words in the first paragraph. It was a news headline; “Pakistani man stabs girlfriend with screwdriver.” (Stay with me here.)
And that was it, that was the epiphany; we should not live our lives by eulogy virtues as those are borderline narcissistic since they are almost the same as saying “OMG what is everyone saying about me behind my back!?!”
Instead, we should live our lives by headline virtues…what are our actions saying about the entire group that we identify with? I never clicked the story and never learned the name of the man who stabbed his girlfriend with the screwdriver, and I am sure many did the same, so the entire Pakistani population got a bad rap for one man’s behavior.
Before you do something or take an action think about if you would want what you are doing attributed to your entire hometown, family, country, or Greek organization. If you live your life by being cognizant of your headline virtues, you probably will not have much to worry about when it comes to the eulogy ones.
Until next time,