The words we want written on our tombstone reflect our deepest values and what is important in our lives. One wit commented, "I want written on my tombstone that I lived a long and healthy life." But great people want their tombstones to reflect the high ideals and spiritual values that guided their lives.

Thinking about tombstones can encourage us to figure out how we would like to be remembered. Writing down those values could help us work toward that ideal. Although we aren't perfect, the very fact that we cherish some high ideal indicates what is truly important to us. We might be far from that ideal right now, but sincerely wishing to be that way puts us on the path to elevate ourselves.

Encouraging someone to think about the words they want on their tombstone is, in essence, trying to encourage someone to live a more meaningful life. Some people might not feel comfortable sharing the words they would want for posterity. Specify that they don't have to tell you what those words are. But reflecting on this question will automatically be elevating and beneficial.