So many people want to be important, to have power, and they manipulate and aggressively seek this elusive concept. True power is influence. Having influence comes from listening, working to understand, and help others. Those will small egos usually much more influence and power than those with large egos.
Recently this meme came up on facebook and it makes a lot of sense. “Be good to people. You will be remembered more for your kindness than any level of success you could possibly attain.”
Who is someone you will never forget? Mine is my Granny Grantham.
My Granny Grantham, or maybe my memory of her (which may or may not be very accurate since I was nine years old when she died) is the person I will always try to live up to. I loved her so much. She was the person I always felt loved by, although would chastise me in a kind way when needed.
When she died there was a true empty place in our lives. She held the Grantham clan together. They pulled together after she died, but it was never the same again without her.
True influence is what my Granny had. She instilled love and loyalty. She held to her beliefs and was true to herself. Her strength gave us strength. Her character and search for adventure (she homesteaded to Two Buttes, Colorado, as a single woman, leaving Indiana on her quest with one of her brothers) were always amazing, almost mythical.
She loved us and we knew it. Not by words or by dramatic physical demonstrations, but by her consistency, her stability and her eyes. I felt like I was her favorite grandchild (of 37 – eventually 38 grandchildren she had), as did my cousin Larry. What a great gift to give us!
It wasn’t unconditional. She had expectations. She expected me to do my school work, to learn, to be a good person. She read to me. She kept a puzzle at her house and I did it over and over again. One puzzle. It was enough. Every time I finished it she told me how I did it better than anyone else. She made me feel special by completing a project I enjoyed. She was teaching me a true part of being successful.
How much of what I remember is true and how much is my mind making it up, I don’t know. But there has been no tie in my life that I have not missed Granny Grantham. Few years go by that I don’t cry because I miss her at some moment. I cry because I think she might be disappointed in me for something I’ve done, or I cry because I wish she was there to share a moment. Whatever, I know she would have still loved me through all of it.
It has always been my hope to someday have that same positive influence. Maybe Granny is more impactful on my life because she did die when I was so young. Maybe not. I just know my Granny Grantham is my hero, always has been, and who she is to me has helped shape the person that I am.
If you have a goal of leaving a legacy, work to be the legacy. Strive to have influence and use it in ways that help your family, your friends, your neighbors, your community, and the world.
An old lady in Oslo once said, “I just always tried to do the right thing.” There is so much wisdom in that statement.
Last month Brown and Associates staff and The Willows folks got together and worked to carry on some Christmas traditions that they enjoy. They got together with some others, had soup and went caroling in that bitter cold. Singing Christmas carols at the Heritage Community, the nursing home, and the hospital they not only brought joy to people’s lives, they brought joy to their own. They made a memory. I’m sure it could have been done better, I am sure they could have done all sorts of things differently … but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that they did it.
Let’s all work to do something good.
See you on the bricks!