I got an interesting call this week regarding an uncle that had passed away 42 years ago. I remember that my Uncle Ace was the owner of a successful camp in the Poconos, lived in Florida towards the end of his life and drove a Rolls Royce. I really did not have a lot of information to give to someone on a mission. The gentleman, whose life had been touched positively by my Uncle, went to Brandeis University and was advised by his family members to call Ace, who also happened to be a distant cousin of his. My uncle ended up giving him a job at camp and was able to provide a positive impact on this young man’s life.
This short encounter made me wonder how many of us have relatives that have done something extraordinary, but we never had a chance to know about their “feats”. If a book was not written about them or our family did not pass down their stories, no information can be found about them. We have become so used to seeing our actions revealed in real time, due to the proliferation of computers and the rise of social media, that it is tough to remember a time when information was not readily available. Anything we do is easily recorded on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc., so much so, that we know that these outlets can impact our ability to get hired or provide instant celebrity.
As the story unfolded, the gentleman told me that he went to Brandeis’ Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony last year, and on the list of contributors to their programs that have been inducted, my Uncle’s name was missing. Not only a supporter of their programs, my uncle also helped many young adults from poorer backgrounds achieve their dreams. As one would expect, there is a whole process to get inducted, including various testimonials. This step was completed before the call to me to get some biographical information (which my Aunt will provide). Not knowing this part of my uncle’s life, I was filled with pride to hear what my uncle did with his life and happily offered to help in any way I can. We learn that giving is something that all people should do, the more that you give, the more that you receive back. If all goes well, I am planning to attend the induction ceremonies.