don’t postpone goodness

don’t postpone goodness
Photo by micheile henderson / Unsplash

I have always been fascinated by the following quote by the Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie:

“I'm going to spend the first half of my life accumulating money... And I'm going to spend the last half of my life giving it all away.”

While these words inspire us to prioritize both income and impact in our lifetime, I feel we shouldn’t wait until the middle of our lives to start contributing to humanity.

Sure as we begin our professional journey, we can spend our time and resources for the first few years establishing ourselves and securing a steady position at work and in society. But after a certain point, we’ve got to start giving back to the world community.

We’ve got to accept the notion that life is fickle and uncertain. Like a sword, death hangs over our heads all the time. And so, instead of postponing it, we must make being good and doing good one of our top priorities. As Marcus Aurelius wrote in his private journal, “Don’t behave as if you are destined to live forever. What’s fated hangs over you. As long as you live and while you can, become good now.”

Seneca also advised living in such a way that we are always prepared to expect and accept death. In one of his letters, he pointed out: “Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.”

How about we make good use of today and keep both achievement and significance our prime focus?

Don’t postpone goodness. Spend your days working hard to make a fortune for yourself and your family, but also devote a good chunk of time toward giving a certain percentage of your earnings away to support worthy causes. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.