11 Sep Leaving A Legacy
About fifteen years ago I had the opportunity of meeting a heart surgeon who specialised in transplants. At one stage he was mentored by the late Dr. Victor Chang so it was a real privilege to meet him.
I find anything to do with medicine fascinating so to be fair, it wasn’t hard to get my attention. Anyway, after I peppered him with questions, I told him how much I admired his work and what a legacy he would leave.
Without blinking an eye he shot back and said, “You realise you can leave the same legacy too?”
After I reminded him I was not a surgeon he then shared a story about one of the most inspiring pieces of work he had ever been involved in. It was a story I will never forget.
About two years earlier he sent an invitation to all the people who had been recipients of heart donations. About twenty five recipients plus their families took up his offer and joined him for a lunch he hosted in a park near the hospital he worked at.
He then invited the families of each donor who had agreed to pass on an extraordinary gift – their own heart.
In the weeks leading up to the lunch, both groups were sent name tags with a set of instructions.
Specifically, each name tag didn’t have their own name on it, instead it had the name of their donor or recipient. It was also important to be on time for the event. Just like their life changing operations, timing was of the essence.
As requested, everyone assembled at the park with precision timing. Shortly afterwards, the doctor gave a short speech and then asked everyone to put their name tags on.
With his instruction, he then asked everyone to slowly mingle and find their match.
He said standing back and watching everyone come together was one of the most inspiring things he had ever seen. Not just because of what he had done, but because of what the donors had offered, even though they weren’t present to witness the impact of their extraordinary generosity.
Many donor families spoke about how it helped bring closure on the loss of family members while giving life to another. Some recipients couldn’t believe it was possible to experience that much gratitude.
So what does this have to do with wealth creation?
I guess it all depends on how you look at it. But one thing is for sure. Other than having your own children, it’s hard to imagine leaving a bigger legacy than giving life to another.
If you’re not convinced, try and put a dollar value on it. You might also find out you’re worth more than you realise.
Count your blessings and have a great week!
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