The Life-Changing Lesson We Can All Learn From George H. W. Bush

December 7, 2018

While watching George H. W. Bush’s funeral this week, I was reminded of the importance of leaving a legacy.

During the eulogy, a portion of the 41st President’s inaugural address was quoted by his son:

“We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account, we must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?”

Regardless of your views on George H. W. Bush’s politics or his choices while in office, I resonate with the quote from his inauguration because my values align with his.

“Success” is not determined by the numbers in your bank account, but by the number of people whom you have impacted.

“Success” is not determined by the square footage of your home, but the imprint you have left on the hearts of others.

“Success” is not determined by all the stuff you acquire, but by how you have made this world a better place.

When you choose to use your God-given strengths and passions to benefit and serve others, that’s where you will find your “sweet spot” of success.

I love that George H. W. Bush’s life continues to live on as his legacy continues to impact others.

Of all the things said about our former president, the one quote that stood out to me more than any others was what former Senator Alan Simpson said about Bush:

“[He] never hated anyone. Hatred corrodes the container it’s carried in.”

We often assume that we get revenge on others by holding bitterness, resentment or hatred against them. Hatred does far more harm to yourself than anyone else.

When you offer forgiveness to someone else, you’re allowing yourself the freedom to move on and become healthier on the inside. Forgiveness benefits you more than those to whom you give it.

As we remember and honor our late president, my challenge to you is this: make this world a better place by refusing to withhold your forgiveness.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3:13

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