‘U-Haul is an American moving equipment and storage rental company, based in Phoenix, Arizona, that has been in operation since 1945’ -That comes straight from their website. That is 74 years and many miles, locations, situations and different people. I’ve used U-Haul myself and recently decided to have an adventure and drive some of my belongings from my 15-year home in the state of Colorado to my new home in California. About 1100 miles of adventure ensued, including driving away from a gas station with the pump and hose still attached to the tank and dragging down the road in Gallup, New Mexico. Yes, I did it! Go ahead, yuck it up! I am.

U-Haul has seen much more than you or I but there is one thing I doubt: that there has ever been a hearse dragging a U-Haul behind it. You may be familiar with the song lyrics:

“You never see a U-Haul
behind a hearse, Ryder.
The Egyptians tried it. It doesn’t work.
You can’t take the money with you.”

I think it was in a movie: a man by the name Ryder hijacked a train to extort money from the city. Nice pun. The ancient Egyptians used to put various objects in the tomb along with the mummy, because they thought the person would need those things in the afterlife. I doubt that!

The point of these comments and lyrics are that you can’t take it with you. The book of Job in the Old Testament Bible, chapter 1 verse 21 reads ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.’ I believe Job to be right. If Job and I are right, what are you to do then with your wealth? You may find one or two organizations who would like you to give them some. And, perhaps you have children or other relatives. Chances are they would like some of it.

What about the idea that not only your money and possessions are things you can’t take with you? What of other parts of your legacy such as reputation? What about your time, kind words, or your talent? Money and material objects are great and can make appreciated gifts or inheritances. But it is hard to put a price tag on time, talent or encouragement. Everyone likes company from time to time, and we all need occasional help and to hear motivating comments. ‘Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.’ ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most of us are in favor of government assistance for people in need and unable to fend for themselves. Many volunteer at various civic, religious or humanitarian organizations. There seems to be reward in doing that. Sometimes taking part in a home building project with Habitat for Humanity appeals to people. But what about situations where there is no visibility, and no organized and named group spearheading the effort? Is it as popular? Have you ever visited a neighbor who lives alone? Have you run errands for them or assisted them with balancing their checkbook or figuring out what a medical bill means? That takes real talent! Do you give them words of affirmation, fresh flowers or a chocolate cake? Do you invite them to dinner or a party?

It isn’t only those living alone who need all of this. There are many single parents, to mention a few who have those needs. People grieving or ill also have needs, regardless of their family situation. What about someone who was just laid off from their job unexpectedly? That happened to me and I know how that feels. I definitely needed comforting and bolstering during that trying time. And there were also others. Losing loved ones, being disappointed or disappointing someone else (provided your spirit moves you that way) can weigh heavily on your emotions.

As a leader in whatever capacity you live, serve or work, always keep in mind that non-material gifts to others may have a greater impact than material things. My mentor John Maxwell reinforced in me the concept of ‘servant leadership’ or seeking to help others before myself. It isn’t a consistently easy behavior but the more you practice the less you’ll need to. One of my greatest rewards in business was when I hired someone and invested in that person and they made four times the money they had previously, and they successfully launched their new sales career. I love telling that story! It always warms my heart.

Just imagine if the entire world had a servant leader mindset and heart set. I doubt there would be the strife there is today. Maybe we would stop fighting with each other and fight for each other. That would require us unhooking our U-Haul and making sure we spent ourselves today on what mattered most to help make this world a better place and its people more successful.