Living With the End in Mind

As summer begins to draw to a close, signs of back–to–school are in all the usual places. Commercials and sale fliers advertise everything imaginable for you to fulfill your role as student. Shopping for new clothes and school supplies can be great fun. So, enjoy it! But while you do, consider that you are investing in lots of things that, this time next year, will simply be old and worn.

© 2011 Andrew Hurley. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#45).

© 2011 Andrew Hurley. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#45).

So, while you’re investing in things for the outside of you, also make time to invest in the inside of you. Think . . .who will you be when you exit your school for the final time of the 2014–2015 school year? How will you be different? Will you be better? What will you be proud of? What might you regret? Now is the time to plan that day.

To do that, divide those questions into at least three areas––you may think of more. As one marker of success, businesses use a concept called “added value.” If you apply that principle to this next school year, what added value will you have gained––and contributed?

Here are some ways to become a winner!

  1. Scholastically:  Learn quality information. Especially learn your math, English and accurate history of this great country.  But also look for things that you learn outside the classroom. Ask your parents to help you identify good people who have time to invest in you and want to see you succeed.
  2. Personally: Ask yourself, who will benefit by knowing you?  Will you take time to be kind––maybe to a new kid? Will you befriend someone who is lonely? Will you walk away, rather than talk badly about someone? On the other hand, who are the friends who bring out the best in you? Who helps make you a better person?
  3. Spiritually: Decide who you are and who you represent.

God has proven so faithful to me. He has helped me mature as a representative of His Son. This is regardless of challenges––or perhaps because of them. And always, I have been kept safely there in the palm of His hand.

Likewise, I urge you to determine today who you are––and who you represent, and how you plan to do that. And make it a very good year!


  1. Will you make a point to say hello to someone new, or someone you don’t know well, on the first day of school?
  2. In what ways could you express appreciation for a good friend?
  3. In what two ways could you grow spiritually this year? Write them on a sticky note. Why not post it where it will be a daily reminder?

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Cynthia Hill is a former small business owner/operator and homeschooling parent. Since moving professionally into the public policy arena, she has advised on policy matters in all 50 state legislatures, at the federal level and on cases headed to the Supreme Court. She has consulted for pro-family organizations and start-ups from numerous foreign countries. Cynthia regularly advises and collaborates with national and state leaders regarding organizational and legislative strategic planning and policy issues in the news.

Previously, Cynthia served as Senior Director of State and Local Affairs at the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, D.C. There, she was primary liaison to a nationwide network of state Family Policy Councils and similarly-minded entities. Prior to her work at FRC, Cynthia was a researcher and lobbyist in the Virginia General Assembly for the Family Foundation of Virginia. She later accepted the position of Vice-President of Development.

Cynthia earned undergraduate degrees in Religion and Human Services and a Masters in (Social and Domestic) Public Policy. She has authored and taught a variety of curricula in volunteer capacities and online at the collegiate level. Her most recent is entitled Open Doors, a multi–year, single text curriculum for middle through high schoolers who want to develop personal opportunities for jobs, scholarships and volunteer and leadership positions. She is currently finalizing a book about family violence in America entitled Voiceless.

Cynthia is also founder of Common Sense, an education and policy model designed to inform and equip “grassroots” citizens, policy novices and public officials about issues relating to the protection and preservation of faith, family, fiscal responsibility and freedom via a Judeo-Christian worldview.

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  • Edward Earwood

    I can still here an long-time friend and mentor say–“you will never know how to live until you know how to die.” It is true! Thanks for a great reminder.