What Will Matter: Teacher's Edition

Michael Josephson, 2003
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Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes,
     hours or days.

All things you collected, whether treasured or
     forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power
     will shrivel to irrelevance.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations
     and jealousies will finally disappear.

So too your hopes, ambitions, plans, and
     to-do lists will expire.

The lesson plans, staff meetings, parent conferences
     and school house polities that once deemed
     so important will fade away.

The annual parade of fresh faces will and the noises
     of chattering children, stuff feet and slamming
     lockers will be heard no longer.

It won't matter how much you earned, the car you
    drove or the street you live on in the end.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days
    be measured?

What will matter is not your success,
     but your significance.

What will matter is your every act of dedication,
     passion and example that enriched,
     empowered and enlarged young minds.

What will matter is not how many people you
     taught, but how many lives you touch.

What will matter is the way you honored your
     parents, loved your children and supported
     your friends.

What will matter are not your memories, but the
     memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be
     remembered, by whom and for what.

What will matter is not your competence,
     but your character.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen
     by accident.

It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choosing to teach is choosing to live
     a life that matters.