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Pay It Forward

My friend Hugh Jeffries died. He was a wealthy man. His wealth was of the kind that you can take with you when you go. I do not know what his tangible estate measures. That is unimportant now. This I do know?his contributions to the lives of others were the true measure of his success and wealth.

He was a wise and compassionate man. He offered, in every conversation I had with him, words of encouragement and kindness. When I expressed frustration or anger, he counseled forgiveness and understanding. When I ranted about the mediocrity of people's lives, he reminded me that every human soul is great and we cannot know the value of another's daily contribution by their anonymity.

Hugh worked with many of the great and famous personal development teachers. He believed in me and supported my work. I took that as high praise. It was only after my ego got out of the way that I realized that Hugh believed in and supported everyone he encountered.

I think it is important to note that Hugh knew that every word and deed is a causal agent that produces effects. He lived his life accordingly. He believed that everyone has something valuable to contribute and everyone has the potential for greatness.

Each word spoken and deed enacted by Hugh is a measure of his greatness.

We may not be ever be able to know exactly what kind word saved a person's life or what supportive gesture contributed to someone's happiness and success.

Hugh often said that each of us could make difference in the world. It wasn't just a philosophical statement. He set about to do that; and, he succeeded.

Hugh made a extraordinary difference in thousands of lives, who in turn will make a difference in the lives of countless others. His loss is deeply felt by all who knew him; but more importantly, his gift of himself to each of us will live on as we learn to live by his example.

Now that is a legacy, an estate to leave behind. Hugh died a wealthy man indeed.

I mourn his death. I celebrate his life.

I will always remember his smile. It was in his eyes. It overflowed out of his heart.

"That Man is a Success
Who has lived well,
laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of children;
Who has filled his niche
and accomplished his task;
Who leaves the world better than he found it,
whether by improved poppy, a perfect poem,
or a rescued soul;
Who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty
or failed to express it.
Who looked for the best in others
and gave the best he had."
-R.L. Stevenson

"We have never come at the true and best benefit of any genius so long as we believe him an original force. In the moment when he ceases to help us as a cause, he begins to help us more as an effect. Then he appears as an exponent of a vaster mind and will. The opaque self becomes transparent with the light of the First Cause."
-R.W. Emerson

© Leslie Fieger. All rights reserved worldwide.

Leslie is the author of The DELFIN Knowledge System Trilogy: The Initiation, The Journey and The Quest plus many more success publications. He also the co-author of The End of the World with Hugh Jeffries and Alexandra's DragonFire with his daughter Ashley. Subscribe to his free and ad-free eZine at or

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