May 302012

Twenty years ago a lady unexpectedly passed away leaving her estate to her infant daughter. Included in the estate was a modest apartment in Sydney’s inner western suburbs.

For years, the unit sat on a local real estate manager’s books quietly gathering rental income and growing in value during Sydney’s great property boom.

Eventually the owner of the real estate agency tracked down the infant, now grown up and living in Boston. He’d hired lawyers and private detectives to track her down.

Most of us would have taken the easy course and flicked the property to the public trustee where the property would have quietly languished for years in the tender care of the dusty, but expensive, bureaucrats.

A few criminally minded ones would have sold the property and pocketed the cash, confident that no-one would ever know or care.

But Chris Wilkins decided to do the right thing and found the owner, doing anything else would have been a “heartless alternative.”

Having a heart and giving a damn is what matters.

Whether its in our work, how we deal with other people or the change we make to our society. This is what matters – big bonuses, a flash car, a ministerial position or invites to “insider” conferences are just trinkets for the egos of vain little people.

In an era where shareholder value, triple A credit ratings, executive remuneration and personal entitlements seem to stand above everything else, it’s good to be reminded that most people are doing the right thing by others.

At the end of our lives, we’re judged by our actions. What will you be proud to be judged by?

  One Response to “Giving a damn”

  1. I am heartened by stories like this. I think that contrary to expectation, integrity and doing the right thing is still fairly alive in Australia, and its by sharing stories like this that we keep it alive!

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