This was one of my late father’s most well known quotes. Growing up on a ranch in the Sierras, my siblings and I had plenty of toys and room to use them. Whenever our latest rope swing or bike jump distracted us to the point that it started to encroach on our relationships with family or friends, Dad would remind us that “People are more important than things.” He used to say it so often, it’s become a family value. He didn’t have to tell us specifically how to change our behavior because his life was such a good example of it, we knew exactly how to change, whether we actually chose to or not. For example, one day he had to fly to LA for a big board meeting he had to go to every month, and when we told him we wished he didn’t have to go, he skipped out to the disapproval of the other board members and lost a significant amount of income so he could spend the day with us “bumming around,” as he called it, at the local airport. Partially because of that example, when I grew up and had my own business, I worked hard to get to the point that I could afford to hire a manager, so that I could then spend more time with my kids while they are young and it’s so important to have their Dad be a significant influence in their lives. We all know that people are more important than things, but in the material world in which we live, it’s often hard to always live this out.
How do you demonstrate that value, and how can you pass this on as a legacy to your family so that they remember when you are gone?