What we leave behind

Today while working on my speech for the Tuesday evening “Meet the Candidates” event, I had the tv on. Suddenly there was a breaking news alert. They announced that basketball star Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash.

I’m not a basketball fan but I recognized his name. What I immediately thought is “what did he leave behind?” What is his legacy?

He left behind a loving family who are now without his presence in their lives. He left behind an impressive basketball legacy. I only know this because I looked up his records. But even without knowing much about basketball, it’s impressive.

It sounds like he was a difficult man but everyone agreed, he was one of the hardest working players in the NBA. Studied the game and practiced, practiced, practiced.

While his career was impressive it was what he’s done since retiring from basketball that I found more interesting. Wrote a children’s book, won an Emmy and an Oscar for his animated short film, “Dear Basketball.” Plus he took up tennis.

But what was truly impressive was his charity work. His Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation works to eradicate youth homelessness in the Los Angeles area. He was also a supporter of numerous charities. Many of these were charities that helped children.

Most of us aren’t in the position to do great works but each of us have the ability to do small works. Reaching out to someone in need. It may only be a shoulder to cry on, providing a meal when tragedy strikes, donations to charities or volunteering. Small works of kindness and charity have as much value and can sometimes be that one thing that makes someone elses life more bearable or gives them hope that tomorrow will be better.

For the greater good. For me that has always meant looking past my own wants and needs and doing my part for the greater good. There will be no “breaking news” when I leave this world but my hope is that I left behind a legacy of kindness. That my hand was always held out to help someone else up. I may fail at times but I will never stop trying.

Life is finite. We only have so many days on this earth so make the most of them. Be kind, be generous, be thoughtful, apologize when you’re in the wrong, forgive and try to always do the right thing.

Update: The news just reported that Kobe’s 13 yr. old daughter, one of her teammates and their parent along with the pilot also died in this crash. They were on their way to a basketball game. Two young women with lives not fully realized, three families in all whose lives will never be the same. So very tragic.

It just keeps getting worse. A total of nine lives lost. It is always hard to hear about young people dying young. I lost my nephew in a car accident. He was only 23. There has always been those questions, who would he have become, would he have had children? So many questions.

My prayers go out to all the families of the lost.

2 Comments on “What we leave behind

    • Always so sad when any young person dies too young. Always makes my heartache. I just remember how much pain my sister was in when she lost her son at 23.

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