In memory of a Good man

Ken Wallace

A shared journey

I shared a journey with my friend Ken Wallace as we traveled from the Chicago premier of the movie, ‘The Keeper of the keys’, in which we both co-starred. Although it was miles out of his way, Ken insisted on driving me to the airport so that I could catch my plane to London. You can tell much about a man from his deeds. On our journey, which was the last time I saw Ken, we spoke of life, love, his work and his family, Ken died last year.

If you had met Ken you would have known that you were in the presence of a good man. Ken’s aura, smile and the authentic way in which he engaged you, made you feel good and connected to something special. He freely shared knowledge and advice if he thought that in some way it could help you. Then he would ‘get you on your way’, so to speak by some act or deed that he would initiate. Maybe it was as simple as a call to someone he knew; giving you a contact or taking you to the airport. In the short time that I knew Ken, he always ACTed out the goodness that was clearly within him. More than his eloquent words, his ACTions spoke volumes of what was inside this giant of a man.

Helping each other

If Ken’s life were replayed in a silent movie and you were to watch it on the big screen, you would notice the goodness with which he played his part, the good in his actions. You would not need to speak to him or him to you, to know what kind of man he was. You would be sitting in the cinema observing Ken as he helped others, giving them support. He went out of his way for you without you ever knowing that it was ‘out of his way’ because ‘good acts’ were his way! When I found out that Ken had died I did not know what to say.  His legacy however reminded me to continue to help others in words and more importantly actions, in ‘my way’. We cannot help everyone and we all know that sometimes a person needs to gather up their strength via self experience, in order to grow and serve them self. And there is real beauty in knowing from within when you can or maybe even should assist another. When we trust our self, we know.

Helping hands

Help others with acts of goodness

I sit here and eulogize Ken’s life because this morning I went from sleep to waking with Ken on my mind. His goodness came to me whilst I slept. When I awoke his ‘way’ pervaded my first waking moments.

May I suggest it is not enough to be a ‘good’ man or woman? It is not enough for anyone. What the world needs now is goodness translated into deeds, real ACTs of love.

We must do the good deeds which emanate from the love within, letting it come through us, i.e. say the good words and thoughts that come to us, or else the goodness that is within us, stays with us. It is the ACT of goodness that brings it into the world.

Each of us can serve another individual, an organisation, or in our community, as long as we practice acting upon the goodness within, we Realise (make real) what we Realise (discover) is within us. Hence goodness is moved from the abstract into form. In form it can become its real intention and purpose. Left within, it is nothing more or less than unused potential. What’s the point of unused goodness? The poor remain poor. Homeless remain without shelter and people still die everyday of curable diseases. Even now, the unschooled remain unaware: the greedy too. The disenfranchised and disengaged retain their sorrow and solitude.

The goodness within

A sunflower seed left in a drawer contains every ounce of what it is, already within. Yet it never has the opportunity to multiply itself, to provide food or oil and nothing happens to it unless it is planted. Like that seed, all goodness is already within us.  When the seed is ACTivated by planting, nurturing and watering, the sun and the soil do their part and bring the goodness from within, out.

sunflower seeds

What dreams, what comfort, what peace may come when we, at once, ACT out the goodness within us, becoming the ACT, transforming the noun into the verb, making it real?

What might you do today to express the goodness that is already within you? What ACT of goodness can you ‘make real’ within your business, community, family, to a stranger in your town or on a distant shore?

Goodness remains nothing unless it is used to drive action from that place. We must act lest we lose the impulse of action, lest the creation is lost, lest a change is lost. Unless we honour that intention our goodness within remains nothing still, lost to the world it might have changed.

My friend Ken knew how to convert inner goodness into real change. Therefore he positively impacted the lives of others.

Each of us can Realise (discover) the goodness within us if we ACT today to Realise (make real) that which we discover within, bringing it to the world. Our world is a shared journey, not unlike the one I shared with Ken that day. In all of our work, business and personal life, let us begin to act from within, releasing the goodness that is there.

Thank you

Derek