“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Shannon L. Alder
Roughly a month ago, I wrote a post that mentioned one of my predecessors, Mr. J.T. Mulligan. As a young man, I was a student of Mr. Mulligan. I was also a JV baseball player in his program. Over time, I got to know Mr. Mulligan, and I saw the impact he had on those around him. I’ve been the recipient of the “Mulligan Death Grip”. Eventually, I had the opportunity to coach one of his grandsons. Currently, I am in his former position, coaching on the baseball field that now bears his name. Unfortunately, he passed away last week, and today he is being lain to rest.
Noah and I have often discussed things like legacy, your effect on others, and servant leadership. Sometimes, though rather unfortunately, we don’t see how these things really played out until after someone is gone. Most in the community knew about the involvement of Mr. Mulligan in athletics in Erlanger, but his passing has brought to light just how many lives he touched through his servant leadership. Since his passing, I have seen countless posts on Facebook and Twitter discussing what a great and dedicated man Mr. Mulligan was, and today, I saw a packed church with family, friends, coworkers, former players and coaches paying respects.
To me, there are a couple things to take away here. First, I think it is important to praise people in the moment. As I mentioned, often we don’t take the time to let people know what kind of effect they’ve had on us until that opportunity is no longer available. Telling someone ‘thank you’ for having a positive and lasting effect on your life takes minimal time and effort but carries a lasting impact. Second, I think it is important to work to leave a lasting legacy. Baseball fields aren’t named after people who stood on the sidelines and watched. Those honors are reserved for those that give of themselves selflessly. Those honors are bestowed upon those who dare to achieve greatness. Those honors are reserved for those who create lasting greatness through action and service.
My deepest condolences to the Mulligan family, and rest in peace, Mr. Mulligan. You will be missed.
Have an awesome Monday,