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The way to measure the impact of our lives
Glenn Mollette
Glenn Mollette

Jimmy Buffett, Bob Barker and Bill Richardson all died recently. They all had one thing in common. They lived extraordinary lives. 

Buffett had become a billionaire. He had amassed his fortune by capitalizing on his song, “Margaritaville.” His hotels, restaurants, resorts and even retirement communities were hugely successful. In his later years, he continued to build new hotels and resorts that were beautiful and hugely successful. 

Sadly, Buffett passed from Merkel cell skin cancer. He had been receiving treatment for over four years at was still doing concerts even as late as early July in Rhode Island. There was nothing stopping Buffett, except the skin cancer that took his life even when he had so much he still wanted to do. Yet, few people will ever live the life of Jimmy Buffett.

Bill Richardson had spent his last few years helping people internationally. He was very successful in politics serving as a U.S. congressman, governor of New Mexico and as an ambassador to the United Nations. He may best be remembered for his diplomatic work in negotiating the releases of journalist Danny Fenster from a Myanmar prison in 2021 and most recently Britney Griner from a Russian prison, among others. Richardson lived an amazing life.

Bob Barker gets the longevity prize. It’s hard to top 99, unless you make it to 100. Barker lived a full life of entertaining us on television. For 50 years he came into our homes as the host and producer of The Price is Right and earlier as the host of Truth of Consequences. Many of us show him in the hit comedy Happy Gilmore. Many Americans felt like Barker was a member of their families since he was in their homes via television for so many years. 

Barker, Buffett and Richardson were all bigger than life personalities who lived extraordinary lives filled with success and prosperity. 

Keep in mind the measure of our lives is not meant to be measured beside the lives of national or global personalities or anyone else. The fulfillment and success of your life may be in taking care of an aged parent, a troubled or disabled child, or seeing your spouse or life partner through life’s difficult stages. Or, the great success of your life may be remembered in your kindness to your neighbors and to others you meet along the way.  Quite possibly, life’s most extraordinary people may not be fully recognized until we are beyond this life. 

The best we can do is the best we can do. We should trust God and live our lives in as meaningful a way as possible.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published in over 600 publications in all 50 states.