If and when we think about, some of us are prone to wonder how our obituary would look. Will there be anything besides the list of accomplishments and our survivors? Ten years from now, will anyone remember that we once walked this earth?
Zach Taylor, executive director of the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, died suddenly Friday morning. I grieve for his beloved wife and daughters and his friends, including myself. But I realized today that Zach was one of those rare individuals who “got life right.” He had a code that he lived by and if you were his friend, you knew that code by heart.
Here’s Zach’s code, as I have deciphered it after nearly three decades of friendsship.
1. Family and friends come first.
2. You have an obligation to improve the quality of life in your city and state.
3. If you have a vision you believe in, you will be able to find others to make the vision a reality.
4. Never ask a friend to go it alone.
5. Everyone has the potential to be a leader.
Because of this code, Zach helped initiate the first Central Oklahoma planning process to address quality of life issues in Oklahoma City, was instrumental in bringing 911 to this area, worked tirelessly for Leadership Oklahoma City and helped launch Central Oklahoma Turning Point, a grass roots health initiative and that’s just a few of his projects. And, yes, he dragged me and many others along with him. Like most of his friends, I couldn’t turn him down. And, whenever, we had a vision we thought could make a difference for our community, he jumped in to help. He called it “reciprocity.” But instead of the usual meaning, if you do this for me, I will do this for you, for Zach it meant let’s do this together.
I like to imagine him now, sitting down with St. Peter and talking about Heaven’s infrastructure, clean air issues and the launching of a leadership program. Of course, he will have offered to help.
So the answer as to whether in ten years anyone will remember him is unequivocally yes, because his was “a life well-lived.”