“Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers in their generations. The Lord apportioned to them great glory, his majesty from the beginning. . . . There are some of them who have left a name, so that men declare their praise. And there are some who have no memorial, who have perished as though they had not lived . . . But these were men of mercy, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten.”
– From the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus 44
In February 2006 I wrote the following that bears repeating:
“Do you remember any of the following: The 1974 Super Bowl champion, the winner of the 1963 World Series, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture in 1988, the Grammy Award for best female vocalist in 1995, the NCAA men’s basketball champion in 1990, the Gold Medal winner for the bobsled in the 2002 Winter Olympics? How many did you answer right off the top of your head? Few, I suspect, yet these represent the pinnacles of fame, don’t they?
“Do you remember B. F. Jordan? . . . I didn’t think so. I do, though. He was my seventh grade history teacher and principal of the junior high school I attended. Mr. Jordan was one of those special teachers who touched my life with his wisdom, wit, character, and passion for teaching. He never had a student, to the best of my knowledge, in whom he did not see great potential. Well into young adulthood he remained my counselor, advisor, and friend – until his sudden and untimely death.
“B. F. Jordan never had aspirations for glory, victory, fame and fortune that I could ever tell. He seemed quite content with who he was – pretty much unknown beyond the city limits of our small community.”
We may not remember all the champions, award winners, and record-holders during our lifetime, but history will. Yet I doubt history will remember B. F. Jordan and others like him, but I do and you do; for “. . . these were men of mercy, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten.” They through their righteous deeds have inspired us and live in our hearts forever, forming the legacies we will one day pass along to the next generation.