LEAVING GREAT LEGACIES
Edwin Hubbel Chapin once said, "Every action of our lives touches on
some chord that will vibrate in eternity." That is the definition of a
legacy. Wouldn't you love to do something that might strike a
beautiful chord that will "vibrate in eternity"?
I've discovered something about legacies…generous people leave great
legacies. I read about a couple in Canada who stopped to help a
motorist who had run out of gasoline. It was a regular occurrence in
their part of rural Canada. After they got him on his way, they bought
a new fuel can, scratched their initials on it, filled it with petrol
and stored it in the trunk of their car.
A few months later they again stopped to assist a stranded motorist.
But this time they GAVE him their gas can and told him to fill it up,
keep it with him and pass it along to the next motorist he sees who
has run out of fuel.
Though they never expected to see their can again, in a couple of
years they spotted it being passed along to a grateful motorist on the
road. They recognized it several more times over the years, and each
time they asked its owner where it had come from. They ascertained
that the can had traveled across the continent at least two times!
They never intended to leave a legacy. When they bought the fuel can
they never dreamed that their action might strike chords that could
vibrate in eternity. But that container may still be traveling around
And it might not seem like a big thing, but many motorists have been
saved by the generosity of complete strangers who stop to help. Then
each in turn has taken the container, re-filled it, and diligently
looked, perhaps for days or weeks, for an opportunity to pass it
along. Good will generated by a humble can of fuel has no doubt
been multiplied many times in countless ways, striking beautiful
chords that vibrate forever.
It's true - generous people leave great legacies. Even that small
piece of yourself you generously give away may thrive in surprising
ways throughout eternity.
By Steve Goodier © 2004