The last couple of weeks have been filled with a few deaths.  From Steve McNair, to Michael Jackson, to Ed Thomas.  How all of these men’s lives varied differently and I believe speaks volumes about their character. 

What you do when no one is looking is a reflection of what your true character is.

Steve McNair had done a lot of great things and had even just run a football camp for less privileged kids.  He appeared to be a role model for every young kid in the area.  He was always smiling and played through much pain and injuries.  He was said by many to be a great leader on the field. But true leaders are leaders in every area of there life.  I am not downplaying anything Steve McNair did or what he stood for.  It is sad that what he will be remembered for the most is the affair he was having.  And ultimately being murdered in a murder suicide by his girlfriend. 

Michael Jackson led the way for many African-Americans especially in singing.  He was very successful and overcame great odds.  He was one of the most talented singers and entertainers ever.  It looks as though Michael overdosed on a prescription drug and was addicted to them.

Ed Thomas was regarded as one of the best high school football coaches in Iowa and even the Nation.  He not only was great at coaching football but great at coaching life.  What echoed in the interviews with former players and people close to Ed was how much they learned about life from him.  He not only lead his teams but he lead his family.  In the interviews with his family they didn’t weep uncontrollably what you heard from them is “God has a plan.” I even heard a story of his wife calling the family of the man who shot Ed and telling them she didn’t blame them.  Who does thinks of others when they themselves are grieving?  Someone close to Ed Thomas would know what it is like to be others focused.  He had been doing it all of his life.

What do we learn about people through their deaths:

Remember: Character is what you are is when no one is looking.  Or when you think no one is looking. 

All 3 of these men died unexpectedly.  If these men thought people were watching would they have been in these situations?

Steve McNair: Would he have been having an affair with this young girl if he thought people were looking and his wife would find out?  By his decision to do this he lost a lot of credibility in the eyes of many people.

Michael Jackson: He couldn’t handle things by himself so he used drugs to help him out.  Would he have taken them knowing he would or could die from them?  Leaving his kids without a parent.

Ed Thomas: He died in the weight room helping young men get better.  He died in a small weight room in a small town in Iowa.  Not a huge house or Condo.  Ed Thomas lived for others.  Ed Thomas knew this life wasn’t about him. 

What we can learn about others is how people around them respond to their deaths:

Steve McNair:  Wife is distraught and kids are probably in shock not only that there dad died but was being unfaithful.  Many questions unanswered.

Michael Jackson: Huge mystery surrounding everything for kids and everyone around.  Everyone was overly sad.  Many questions.

Ed Thomas: Family was calm and collected.  Everyone was sad but knew Ed lived with no regrets because he lived life to the fullest.  His kids spoke about God’s plan and wife reached out to the accused family.  Not many questions

Who do you think was a better leader and better prepared those around them?  Who set an example in everything he did?

I know Michael Jackson, and Steve McNair were rich and famous but Ed Thomas invested in his family and kids who are going to be great examples in society.

Remember that at any moment you could die.  What would people say if you died doing what you were doing right now?