My grandfather passed away last year. I haven’t published an article since. He was a fan of my writing and would tell me how my grandmother would cut out each article and hang it on the refrigerator. She is waiting for the next one.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence received criticism for his comments recorded in “Sports Illustrated” in May. The article suggested he lacks the “youthful desire to conquer the world.”
Lawrence stated, “It’s hard to explain that because I want people to know that, like, I’m passionate about what I do and it’s really important to me, but ... I don’t have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone’s out to get me and I’m trying to prove everybody wrong.” He says. “I just don’t have that. I can’t manufacture that. I don’t want to.”
Marissa (Lawrence’s fiance) added, “There’s also more in life than playing football.”
My grandfather’s obituary read, “Denver was retired from the Tuckey Companies ...” casually mentioning his career. The obituary highlighted his family, community involvement and faith in God. There was more in life than his career.
Sport pundits said that Lawrence’s statements showed a passivity that wouldn’t play in the NFL. Lawrence said, “... I think that’s unhealthy to a certain extent, just always thinking that you’ve got to prove somebody wrong, you’ve got to do more, you’ve got to do better.” Marissa: “That usually only leads to sadness as well—always, like, striving for something new or better.”
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My grandfather received awards for his business achievements, the details of which I do not recall. I do remember as a kid he took me to Virginia for an adventure. He told stories. He drove his red Jeep that I wanted to be mine someday. He called restaurants in advance to see if they served mashed potatoes because they were my favorite. He made moments memories.
I remember as a young adult uprooting to Nevada, he drove with me across the country to relocate. We took turns driving my blue Jeep. He journaled the details of our trip. When he left Nevada to fly home, he sent me off into the world. Yet he never really left.
I miss my grandfather. I am tired of the pandemic. I want to be a kid on a trip with my grandfather when it was all adventure and surprise. I am tired of climbing ladders.
Trevor Lawrence is right. You can be passionate about your work, compete at the highest level, and realize there is more in life than your career.
My grandfather had it right. Your legacy is left in the lives you touched. The impact on those lives may ripple for eternity from your work, your family or the daily interactions with your circles.
May our lives be about what matters most, even when that is found in the smallest acts of kindness. And sometimes that’s just calling ahead to see if a restaurant serves mashed potatoes because they are your grandson’s favorite.