Thinking Beyond Yourself

Here is David’s take on thinking beyond yourself and how he has made realizations of this important thing over the years.

Last weekend, our whole extended family got together for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. And it is just a delight to see mom and dad still healthy and loving each other. My dad turns 90 this year. Before the big celebration, all these things, I took a little gator ride through the fields. He still lives on the farm, a 1500 acre farm, maybe now it’s only 1200 acres or so, where I grew up, and was showing me the crops and showing me what he’s doing.

I went to this one area and he said, “Yeah, I planted 275 trees this year.” Every year he plants trees. On average he plants over 1000 trees a year. I can remember growing up, even planting 2500 trees, getting a tree planter and we’d plant trees all over our farm.

But I thought about this because he was showing me some of the trees he planted this year. And they’re beautiful, and they’re expensive, and it isn’t just like taking and planting 1000 Norway pine or spruce trees, it was flowering trees, and it was fruit trees.

I said, “Dad, why’d you do that? “You’re not even gonna see this tree grow up.” I might not have said it just like that, but we both knew he’s not gonna see the fruit of these trees. And his line was,

“Because I know somebody will enjoy it.”

He was thinking ahead so much about others, and when I think about, there are many secrets, I think, to their marriage and to their success in business, having a farm, and even in family, I sure benefited by his example, but especially both of their example to serve others and to think of others first. This idea that, I don’t know, but somebody is gonna enjoy this, and I’m doing it not for me, but for them.


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