Living Columns & Blogs

Which adjective would you choose to live up to?

When you’ve been to several funerals in a short period of time, you can’t help but wonder what will be said at your our own funeral. Which adjectives will be used to describe you? What will the attendees hear that will make them nod their heads in agreement?

Then I think, “Forget about after you’re gone; how do you want to be described this very day?”

I didn’t ask people which adjective they’d use to describe me – I’m not that crazy – but instead asked which adjective they would want to be described with. They could pick only one.

Several people blurted out an answer, then quickly thought of another one. Some went back to the original answer, while others continued to think of new ones. But they had to settle on one.

“Hmmmmm,” said Wayne Bryan. He decided he would choose “genuine.” I would say he’s genuine and “invaluable” to Music Theatre Wichita as producing director.

Lynn Marshall, wife of Wichita State University basketball coach Gregg Marshall, said she hopes she is thought of as a “caring” person. No doubt her family at home and her family of tall young men at Koch Arena would say she’s just that.

Al Sanchez, senior vice president for marketing at Fidelity Bank, said without hesitation “celebration.” “I think we should celebrate every day,” he said. “Just about anything can be a celebration.”

Clark Bastian, chairman and CEO at Fidelity, said “kind.” And that was media buyer Terry Johnson’s answer also.

Esther Headley, a marketing research consultant, said she hoped she would be described now and later as “humble.”

Homemaker Sally Thompson says she would want to be thought of and remembered as being “joyful.”

The woman is not only joyful, she’s one of the funniest people I know.

“Generous,” “ funny,” “happy,” “ thoughtful,” “creative” and “smart” were other answers from a wide variety of people. Some unexpected ones were “connected,” “informed” and “frugal.”

Once they had answered, several people asked me what my word would be. I finally decided on “dependable.” Bonnie Boynton, who was visiting me from Dallas, said it was an “OK adjective, but boring.”

I explained that dependable goes beyond doing what you’ll say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it. I think dependable means others can depend on you to be helpful, a good listener, a port in the storm, good for a laugh, generous, understanding, etc.

Then I realized if I want to be thought of now, and remembered that way, I’ve got some work to do.

Hey! That will work for all of us. Think of your word, and if you’re not already living up to that adjective, start now.

Let me know what your adjective is at

You can “depend” on me to read it.