“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in” – Greek proverb
I’ll admit it. There are a lot of things in life that I take for granted. Here’s a few of them:
- Turning the handle on a faucet and having clean water come out
- Flipping a switch to light the darkness
- Driving my car on well-maintained roads
- Heating my house during the cold winter months
- Having access to a wealth of information through the internet
I could continue on, but you get the point. The common thread in this list of amenities is that they are the result of infrastructure built by those before me. At some point, people made decisions to put their time and effort into building things that were bigger than themselves. They had the foresight and took the initiative to build something that would not only benefit them and their direct descendants but also society as a whole.
It makes me wonder if what I am doing will be of benefit to future generations. It’s a question that we should all be asking ourselves. Are we pursuing a calling greater than ourselves? Are we working on what life is asking us to do, our purpose?
We are all connected, those who came before, those who exist now, and those who will be in the future. There’s a common thread that runs through the past, present and future..
We’ve each been granted unique gifts. We must use them wisely. It’s not about using them to benefit and enrich ourselves, it’s about using them to benefit all.
We have limited time to make an impact with our unique talents. Let’s resolve to make the most of them. Let’s plant the trees so future generations can enjoy the shade and go on to plant trees of their own.
Note: it’s a bit unclear if the lead-in quote is really a Greek proverb. If interested, you can read more about the quote’s origin here.