Do You Smell?

Лирика в Оленегорске follow url As close as I live to Washington, DC, I’d never been to Arlington National Cemetery. Never, that is, until this past Memorial Day weekend. Among the many highlights of that weekend, one stands out the most. It was in the cemetery, and it brought me to tears. That visit changed the way I see myself, those who serve, and perhaps surprisingly, you. Meandering through the cemetery, I gazed at many of the over 400,000 grave sites —  the myriad white monuments standing in perfect rows as far as the eye could see. But it was one cross among the thousands of indiscriminate markers that gave me pause. That was when warm tears ran down my cheeks and dotted the front of my shirt.

There, perhaps 30 yards away, was a young family: A mother and her two young children. The youngest was probably too young to understand. The older held flowers while her mother wept – on her knees – before a grave. I was an interloper in a humbling scene, and could not tear myself away.

I do not know the story of this family, nor do I know their pain. In spite of this, I found it difficult not to share in their grief.

The mother placed the flowers at the site as if laying a baby in a cradle. Among the flowers, she placed some Hyacinth. A calm wind floated the unmistakable and beautifully sweet aroma across the distance to me.

And that’s when I thought of you, dear reader.

Your life is a busy one. Perhaps it’s too busy. And one day, sooner or later, it will be your plot over which others will grieve. So today I want to ask you this question: What aroma will you leave for the rest of us? When you and I are nothing more than memories, what sweet aroma will we leave behind?

Writing to you today is a part of my reason for being. And in the busy-ness of my life, I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about this. It’s important to me, and deeply personal, but I invest much of my life in my attempts to leave a beautiful aroma for others.

As you look at your life – both at home and at work – ask yourself if its focus has meaning, a lasting meaning that creates deep and positive effects in the lives of the others around you. It’s so easy to become distracted by the many activities of each day. We all do it. But ask yourself how you plan to work your work and live the full scope of your life with clarity of a meaningful purpose.

If you do so, perhaps this will be the moment that changes everything for you now, and for the rest of us, forever. I do hope so, as I wish for the sweet aroma of your work and your life to waft across both people and time. For good.


This entry was posted in 2. The Power of Who You Will Become, 4. The Power of Relationship and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do You Smell?

  1. Alex Seltzer says:

    I don’t always read these but when I do they move me. You’re a great thinker and writer Jeffrey Tobin!

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