The world lost many souls this year, one of the most notable being Neil Armstrong.  When I mention the name, most Americans instantly think of “walking on the moon”.  How strange it must be to have your life defined by something that occurred in a matter of minutes.  An enormous amount of preparation, and 151 minutes in Armstrong’s case.

Jesse Owens, the decorated runner, once described the experience of an Olympian as ” a lifetime of training for just 10 seconds.”  So many people are remembered by something that happened in a relatively short amount of time.  Ben Stein has impressive credentials and a lifetime of achievement, but he has remarked that he knows his obituary will read “Bueller, Bueller” in recognition of the 10 minutes he spent as the boring teacher in the classic film.

Your whole lifetime doesn’t have to be memorable.  The whole year doesn’t have to be stellar.  The whole project doesn’t have to be perfect.  Tonight as we bring the year to a close, take a moment to reflect on the moments/deeds/memories/loves that stood out.  The pieces can define the whole if they are powerful enough.

— beth triplett

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