What are you leaving behind that will last?
Most people think that it would be nice to leave money or property to their loved ones when they move on to the next realm. While that is truly nice and appreciated, I think it is far more valuable to consider leaving behind a legacy of wisdom, values and principles that can and will assist those who are still here to live a better and more productive life. Teaching our children values and sharing with them positive traits that will help them become a better person, a better provider and even a better parent or worker is important. It is like the tales or stories you might have heard growing up that had a moral behind them and was meant to entertain while it shared valuable lessons in an easy to remember manner; such as, if you teach a person to fish, they will no longer need to depend on you and they will not go hungry. The moral is do not continue to feed someone, instead teach them to feed themselves and they will survive. I find myself using this story in my business when I am trying to get a point across to my team.
Money comes and goes. People have acquired great wealth only to lose it but values and principles are something that once learned and honored stay with you forever. They become ingrained within the recesses of your mind and re-appear throughout life as needed. It becomes a reminder of your purpose and function and possibly even speaks to the question: What am I leaving behind that will be valued and appreciated?
I have found in my own life with my children and grandchildren that when I hand them something, it is appreciated only for the minute but quickly forgotten. It also holds true in business. Some of my team member's struggle trying to understand the various processes that need to be performed. When they are handed the exact instructions, they take them lightly and fail to see the value of the project in front of them, but when I insist that they make the time to read, ask questions from various sources and practice their skills so they gain confidence, they learn in a deeper way the value and reasoning behind the process.
I think by nature, many people are lazy and like to take the easy way out and have everything handed to them. It is only when we have to dig deep within our heart, mind and spirit and seek wisdom and understanding that we are better prepared to complete the task or process with a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. There are many processes that I have learned in my lifetime that have been challenging but the more I was diligent with learning the process and the steps, the easier it became because I understood the concept and method or techniques behind it. If I took a half-hearted approach and/or attitude, I failed, simply because I mis-interpreted the value of what I was trying to accomplish.
"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime." - Author, Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451