Bea Quest said she intended to donate her extensive book collection to the local library. “Who knows?” Bea hoped, “Maybe I’ll get a plaque on the reading room wall!” Wealthy Pearson noted that her investments had done well. “I’ll be able to leave my children a tidy sum,” she boasted. N. Dow Mennt intended to bequeath his antique furniture collection to the local museum.
Liv Engwell sat quietly as she listened to the grand plans her friends had made. She’d lived a quiet, modest life and wondered, “What have I to leave to future generations?” With sagging shoulders she shuffled home. “I’ll soon be forgotten,” she sighed.
That evening granddaughter, Dee Sendant, stopped by. She saw at once that Livie was troubled. “What’s wrong Gram?” Dee asked. Livie poured out the apprehensions she’d had since that afternoon’s conversation.
“Gram,” Dee smiled, “your friends just have things money can buy. But you have something much more valuable to give - your example of how to build a healthy, livable world.” Dee reminded Gram how she makes a practice of Reducing her acquisition of stuff by borrowing, renting and sharing. She Reuses and Re-purposes things instead of buying new, and then Recycles once things are truly beyond repair. “And Gram, you’ve taught us how to eat lower on the food chain by mostly filling our plates with fruits, veggies and grains.” Dee also reminded her that Gram was the first one in the neighborhood to have a home energy audit. After completing the suggested improvements, her home energy use dropped dramatically saving her a bundle of money.
Dee continued to list Livie’s prudent practices: minimum use of pesticides, harsh chemicals and artificial fertilizers, consolidating car errands to reduce travel, reducing her mowed lawn area, and on and on.
“Gram, your friends will leave fine gifts to the future, but yours will be a far greater legacy. As Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson said, ‘(Our) biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.’ Gram, you’re living a life in harmony with those systems. And that’s a blessing to us all, here on the only home we’ll ever know where we’re all forever… Earthbound.”