Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present. ~ Roger Babson
by Pete Ferguson
This morning I am preparing for a conversation I will have with my colleagues and peers at an industry luncheon. The topic is human interaction.
To prepare for my presentation, I was going over the eulogies written for someone who gave the gift of time to thousands – Calvin Blossom. Cal died in March of this year, but his gift continues to bless those who stop to remember him.
I spent most of my 20s lost and wondering what I should be. I spent most of my 30s dreaming of what I could be. I’m so far investing my 40s enjoying who I am and the lives of those around me.
As I was reading over the notes from Calvin’s funeral, I recalled what his brother had said about him. Cal had been successful in business on several occasions. When his brother found out he was going to work for us at eBay, he asked Cal in what position, “Vice President?” – “no, replied Calvin, as a security officer.” When asked why, Cal replied “It is is time to give.”
For many of you graduating high school or college, becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg is quite appealing. We all want the ideas in our heads to go on and be successful. Recognition, praise, fame and fortune are all great things.
Coming up with ideas is the fun and easy part. It is putting them into action that is tricky.
Yet when I think of the people most influential in my life – Steve Jobs and Zuckerberg do not make the list.
The people most influential in my life gave me their time. And they gave it to me in spades.
My father has always been an early riser. I can recall hearing him getting up at 5 on cold mornings and despite how tired I was, I would get out of my warm bed to go and join him. He was often busy trying to catch up with work and probably looking forward to his alone time, but he’d put up with my 100 questions and get me reading a book or something to give him peace. Now he is again living in China, but touches base regularly via email or commenting on this blog.
My maternal grandfather was another person who gave his time freely. Oleen Adams had the ability to make me feel like I was the only person in the universe. He was always working on some project, fixing our cars, fixing things around our house, or shoveling snow – for the entire street – when he came to visit from California. Sadly he died when I was 14, but his example regularly reminds me to be more giving.
There are others, and I hope in your life you have many examples.
All the distractions in life provided by technology and pride are just that – distractions.
What really matters is the person you are to the people surrounding you.
Give the gift of time.
- Remembering Calvin Blossom – The Gift One Life Can Give (LearnActShare.com)
- When It’s Time to Stop Thinking–and Start Doing (inc.com)
- Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Show (LearnActShare.com)