When you do great things, it serves others to do so, too. And you'll never know when greatness is made from your labors. I believe we've lost that patience for the germination of the seeds we plant, but a recent musical performance reminds me that great work today begets great things by others tomorrow...or many tomorrows away.
The event was a chamber of commerce luncheon for the holiday season, and the "presentation" for the day included music by a bass quartet. Two of the instruments were double bass, providing an amazingly low and rich sound. Between each song, one of the musicians provided insights into how the instruments work, what they are made of, how they are played, and when the instruments were made. At some point in time, craftsmen made these instruments with great care and precision, and utmost attention to detail. The craftsmen's efforts were necessary for musicians to get the most from their efforts.
As the musicians described their instruments that they knew like a loved one, they also revealed the year each was created. Two were in the mid-1750s, on in the early 1800s, and one in 1999. "But I have a really old one at home," the musician said. Everyone laughed.
Did the craftsmen of 260 years ago consider their work would come to life in the hands of scores of musicians who moved hundreds of thousands of people with the sounds that came from wood, glue and horsehair assembled by their great work of the day? A day's great work is a fruit, born from the seeds of others; it is a seed, for others' work to come.
I told a woman the other day that "we work for our successors" and she looked at me like I had lost my mind. (She was not one of my team members at the university) The fruition of you doing the best with your gifts and talents will yield greater abundance as others utilize what you have made possible.