We fool ourselves if we think the guy who dies with the most toys wins. The other day, I ran through a cemetery. There were impressive headstones, large monuments, and simple markers. Yet I was the only one there. No one cared about these tributes to a past life and the occupants didn’t seem like they cared either.
If Andrew Carnegie didn’t give away vast amounts of his wealth, very few would have cared about him. But because of him, I had a library in my hometown and was able to fall in love with books.
If Alfred Nobel didn’t use his wealth to create the Nobel Prize, very few would have heard about him today. Instead of the inventor of dynamite, he is known for the awards that promote peace, science and the humanities.
Our legacy will not be determined by what we accumulate, but in what we give away.