The Most Important Lesson

man reading the business section of the newspaper

The Most Important Lesson

A well-known businessman received an award for his philanthropy. During the ceremony honoring his good works, he was asked to share some of the lessons he had learned throughout his life and career that inspired him to think of others.

He spoke of his childhood and the poverty his family endured in the rural South. “No matter how tough times were, my grandmother was always looking to help anyone she felt was in need.

“One day a neighbor came to our kitchen door and told my grandmother he was hungry and hadn’t eaten in days. She invited him in and served him a good portion of what she’d been preparing for our supper. When the man left, I asked my grandmother why she was always feeding other people when there was barely enough for us to eat.

“My grandmother said, ‘The only thing that matters in life is giving and serving. That’s the most important lesson you need to learn.’”

The businessman went on to tell how he took his grandmother’s words to heart. Throughout his life and career, he made sure to share his wisdom and good fortune with others and include them in his successes as well. “I don’t believe that old saying, ‘It’s lonely at the top.’ I believe you don’t really make it there until everyone who is a part of what you’re doing can get there with you.”