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The Dead People in My Front Yard

 

by Glenn Shepard
March 14, 2017
Category: Professionalism

   

 

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People with doctorate degrees earn an average of $81,000 a year.
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015)

 


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There’s an old unmarked family burial plot in our front yard, but no one knows exactly where it is. The only clue we had was a notation on a 1969 plat of the property.

Nashville’s water department needs to run some new lines across our property, so they hired a company to use ground penetrating radar (GPR) to find the exact location.

Since GPR only shows irregularities in the soil, the technician painted “AOI” on the most likely locations, which stands for “Area of Interest”.

But there was one location he was positive about, because the signal perfectly outlined a vault.

Because I’m a fan of the old TV show “CSI”, I was curious about how the process of identifying the remains would go. And, it just so happened that NBC ran two related stories the day before.

One was about a construction crew in Philadelphia that accidentally dug up old bones from an 18th century cemetery which was previously believed to have been moved in the 1850s.

The other was in St. Augustine, where archaeologists discovered the skeletal remains of seven people in the cellar of a wine shop.

Because the Nicholas Cage movie “National Treasure” is my all-time favorite, I began wondering what history may lie buried in our yard.

The GPR tech said that when there are no headstones, it’s usually one of two things:

1. Family members of a family who couldn’t afford headstones.

2. Slaves, who were often buried with no headstones.

It seemed so sad that they were forgotten, so I asked the GPR tech to outline the one he was sure about.

A contractor who was doing some other work at our house said it looked eerie, and asked why I would care so much about someone I never met.

I explained that I’m a Christian, and can’t respect and honor God without respecting and honoring His most precious creation. Even if I were an atheist, I’d believe just as strongly that EVERYONE deserves a basic level of dignity and respect.

This isn't just a matter of doing the right thing; it’s also a matter of SELF-respect.

In 29 years of being self-employed, I've learned that the more successful people are, the more self-respect they have. And the more self-respect they have, the more respect they have for others.

While drawing a line around a grave is a small and temporary gesture, the principle behind it is huge.

I wish I could teach everyone still trying to climb the ladder of success how much they hurt themselves every time they’re disrespectful to others – including those they don’t think are “important”.


To Your Success,


Glenn Shepard


P.S.
While every person I know who makes over $1 million a year has a high level of self-respect, very few have over-inflated egos. Most have the heart of a servant, and are always looking for ways to serve others and pull people up.

 

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