I didn’t really know Becky Lockhart, the former Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 46, just a few days after the formal end of her legislative service. We met once at a conference for about five minutes and disagreed (mildly) about state alcohol policy. That was it.
But I’ve been struck by a couple of things as citizens of our State collectively mourn her passing. First, politicians are people too. Speaker Lockhart had a wonderful human touch. She volunteered as a docent and led tours of the Capitol in her spare time. So, if you showed up at 4:00 p.m. on some random day for a tour, that tour might be led by the Speaker of the House, who didn’t find herself “too important” or too busy for such things. She also kept a candy store (and I mean *store*) in her office so that when kids stopped by they got a special treat. Sweet.
Second, life is fleeting; we can’t afford to take a single day for granted. We don’t know how or when our mortal life will end, and so we can only savor the time we have, and make it beautiful. Leave the world better than we found it. The legacy we leave is rarely shaped by dramatic moments, but rather by the steady drip of how we spend our days, for good or for ill. Slowly, but surely, the world shapes us and we shape ourselves and the world around us. Beautiful lives, like beautiful sculptures, are refined bit by bit, and day by day, an act of kindness here, a moment of creativity there, patient and dogged devotion to something greater than ourselves. We can only hope that, when it comes our time to die, those small day-to-day acts add up to something beautiful, that those who remain may raise a silent toast to a life well-lived.
Rest in peace, Becky Lockhart, for yours was a life well-lived.