On Making Your Mark
And Leaving It

Making your mark in the world drives or should drive all of us. This essay isn’t about the effort involved in making our mark, but it is about the mark itself. At nearly any age, we are motivated to succeed. We are driven to crawl, walk, do well in school, and the list goes on throughout life. However, it is interesting about the drive that I have now due in part to my two dances with death. I am fully aware of my necessity of making my mark. Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, while dying of pancreatic cancer, left his mark upon millions. I’m one of them. I have done the dance twice, and, fortunately, I led death, my dance partner, on both occasions. I cannot afford to waste my time that I have remaining though. I intend to make my mark before I don’t have any more dances.

Dancing with death

For me, leaving my mark has to do with two different areas. The first has to do with how I will be remembered by my family and friends. That is important to me. I love those people and want them to live a good life, and I will help them in that process.

The second area, and a far more important one, is what will each of my family and friends have learned about life and their struggle down the yellow brick road? My life is a teaching moment, and it will leave a mark upon them.

Now, not all my readers have done the dance. Hopefully, when they meet their dancer, they will lead and do so successfully. This second aspect of leaving your mark is linked to the first. By my family and friends remembering me, I achieve a sense of immortality. I’m remembered by them, because I loved them as people with whom I saw value in them for a myriad of reasons.

Therefore, this is my teaching moment for each of you. Follow my advice. Essentially, you are leaving a mark not just for yourself but for the others around you. Just being remembered doesn’t have much real value. The quintessential issue is not merely being remembered but for how the next generation will benefit from your journey through life.

In my life, I have helped, taught, supported, and encouraged others. I have lived for over seven decades. However, the mark that I leave them will live long after I’m gone. I have nearly two dozen mentors who made their mark on me and most of them have died.

If you haven’t done the dance, this essay won’t grab you as those who have successfully done the dance. But, trust me. Live your life in giving, because, you, your family, and friends will receive enormous benefits. In a way, this is my version of Pascal’s Divine Wager. Campbell’s Divine Wager is that I will live a life of giving and sharing. If heaven exists, good for me. If not, I have benefited and so did those that I dearly love.

My teaching moment can benefit you. You can reach out to others and leave your mark but choose wisely regarding your mark.

Donald the Dumb wants to leave his mark. He is benefiting from the mark that his father left him. The people Donald the Dumb reaches out to and cares about are Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Rodrigo Duterte, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Brett Kavanaugh, Roy Moore, Rob Porter, Roger Ailes, Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Sam Patten, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Michael, Cohen, Mohammed bin Salman, twenty-six Russians, and the list goes on and on. That is quite a despicable list of mentors who Donald the Dumb has left his mark.

I’m not a baby; I’m an angel

Remember, Buddha said, “When you wish good for others, good things come back to you. This is the law of nature.

Learn from Budha

Remember also what Bobby Kennedy said,

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.