I was in Cape Cod this weekend at the Gestalt International Study Center. Although the weekend had been planned as a gathering for those of us who have studied there, life shifted and Friday morning began with a memorial service for one of the founders, Edwin C. Nevis. I had only met Edwin once and I wanted to be there because I knew he had made a real difference to the world he lived in.
“Edwin was known, loved and respected by people throughout the world. He was a great leader, innovator, teacher, host, and lover of life” said his obituary—and the e-mails that arrived from all corners of the world confirmed this. At the service, friends and colleagues shared stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes touching and always inspirational. Here was a man with a life well lived. He engaged with others in a way that made their life, and the world, a better place.
One story stuck with me as evidence of why this man made a difference. For me it was proof of what happens when our priorities and values are in order. A friend talked of how Edwin would call (many times) and say, “I have a great idea! It will take $X,XXX: how can we get it?” Instead of looking at potential money problems, his primary focus was on the vision. Money was just a step in making it happen. Vision leads; money follows.
With money first, we give away our power. But with vision and values in the lead we keep the power for ourselves and the world. And, that makes all the difference. With vision first everything is possible and money is only a tool working for us (instead of us working for it)!
In Edwin’s last words, “make it stronger”. A lesson for all of us!