What we leave behind

My grandfather died nearly twenty years ago.

For most of his adult life he owned and ran a very small, very modest clothing shop in suburban North London, like many second-generation Jewish immigrants of his time. And as he grew older, his clientele grew older with him. No flashy refits or rebrandings to reach a wider audience. Just years of dedicated service to the people he’d served for so long already.

When he died, and we gathered around the graveside, I looked back to see a long line of mourners stretching back from the grave to the prayer hall. Many spoke of his care for them, of his commitment, and also of his friendship.

I realised then that he was leaving behind him something that many of us never achieve, but which is worth more than status, high office, the construction of big buildings, and the making of millions (each of which, certainly, have their worth). He left behind him scores of lives touched, for the better, by the kindness and constancy of his presence in the world.

And, I wonder, what would become possible if you worked on this alongside all the other important and ambitious projects you’ve dedicated yourself to already?

Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs via Compfight cc