Thursday Thoughts on Making a Difference
Remember the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus? If you haven’t seen it make sure you rent it soon. Anyway, the movie came out in 1995 and my daughter and I went to see it together. The lead character was a musician who wanted to be a composer. To pay his bills he took a job as a music teacher and the rest as they say, was history. He had a profound impact upon his student’s lives.
I am from a family of teachers and I am a sentimental sop, so when the movie had a very emotional scene in it I began to cry. Not just little tears and sniffles, but big old gut wrenching sobs that shook my whole body. My daughter rolled her eyes and moved to the far side of the theater.
After the movie I tried to explain to my daughter why I cried so much but I knew she didn’t understand. One of the many reasons it touched my heart so deeply was because I recognized Mr. Holland. You see, I had a Mr. Holland in my life, too. His name was Tim Best.
Mr. Best was my high school chorus teacher. His class was the first one I signed up for every year and if I could have taken it twice a day I would have. He was a man of many talents and the words “I’m too busy” were not in his vocabulary. He and his wife Carolyn (also a teacher) were at every school event ever held. I graduated from high school and went away to college but years later our lives would reconnect again through our children. Tim and Carolyn had a son one month before our first baby was born. Josh (their son) and Nick (ours) became friends and over the years attended each other’s birthday parties and went to school together.
Tim wasn’t just involved in school activities, he was also the choir director at his church. In addition to all that he started a community theater and directed numerous plays and musicals.
A few months ago Tim got sick and this past week he died. The following paragraph was part of his obituary.
Timothy Milton Best age 65 of Glasgow, Kentucky died Friday January 25, 2013 at the Medical Center in Bowling Green. He was the son of the late Henry H. and Ola Hancock Best. Tim was the music director from 1970 until 1986 in the Metcalfe County School System. Tim’s service to God included forty years of service as Minister of Music beginning and ending at the Edmonton Baptist Church where he was a member and also including Calvary Baptist Church and Cave City Baptist Church.
Obituaries state the facts but they can’t tell the reader how much the person was loved and admired.
When I was in high school I had a poster on my wall that said, “Will it matter that I was?” I have asked myself that many times. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that we can not answer that question for ourselves. It is the legacy we leave after we are gone that decides whether or not we made a difference.
I know without a doubt that it matters that Tim Best walked this earth. His influence will last for generations. Those of us who knew him will remember him every time we see a play that he produced at our local theater, or hear a song we sang in our high school chorus class. Band members will remember the instruments he taught them to play and church goers will remember him as their choir director.
If you are lucky enough to have someone like Tim Best in your life I hope you take the time to tell them how much you love and appreciate them. Life is so short and we never know about tomorrow. By the time I knew how sick Tim was it was too late for me to thank him.
A Facebook page was set up in Tim’s honor where friends and family could express their thoughts and feelings. It is a true testament to how much he was loved.
Tim’s life reminds me that I need to live my life in service to others. That’s the real way we make a difference. That’s the only way it will matter that I was.
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