I’m a firm believer in that actions today, even small ones, will always have ramifications down the road. While reading an article recently, this quote from Nelson Henderson was featured as part of it. This captures the essence of forward thinking and having a vision. What are we doing now, that will help others after we’re gone?
We often associate a vision with someone of high influence and position. The leader of an organization or company, even leaders of nations. But rank and position doesn’t always lend itself to visionary decisions, or even good decisions. The list of these kinds of decisions is far too long, and we see them every day. We need to ensure those in office or in charge are accountable, but most importantly, we need to all do our part. Each one of us makes decisions that can have lasting impact years, if not generations later.
More and more, we see those making decisions only focusing on short term balance sheets and profit margins. Cutting back regulations today to help boost company bottom lines, but what about later? If we cut down the forest to make money today, how does this leave things? Will out decedents benefit from a higher profit margin today at the expense of the long term quality of our natural environment? What about investing in science that may take generations to come to fruition? Should we not bother because we will not live to see the fruits of our labor?
We should be planters. Planting seeds wherever we go. Our decisions should not only focus on short term gains, or how we can benefit now. Focus should also be placed on how this decision will impact everyone down the road. Most importantly, ask how your actions will impact others, not just now, but even after we’re gone. So many things are bigger than any one of us.
Make sure your actions will be planting seeds so that others may be able to sit in the shade. If we all do our part, things will work out for the greater good. Sometimes a decision will be hard, as the right thing is not always the easiest thing to do. If we’re selfish, simply focusing on how we can benefit, the world will be diminished for those coming after us. We have to always think about how things will impact others, both now and years after.
Start planting the seeds today, so that our descendants will be able to use our example to plant their own seeds.