But what good did he do?

A very brief background for those readers outside of London, Ontario, our former Mayor has been charged with breach of trust, fraud, and uttering a forged document and is being sentenced today. This is related to a payment of a Government cheque to cover the deposit of his son’s wedding reception. This particular tweet stood out to me from the sentencing:

Justice Thomas said he reviewed all the letters. Looked for evidence of good works instead of status, reputation.

As part of the defence, the former Mayor’s lawyer submitted 45 letters attesting to his good qualities and character from local citizens. Justice Thomas was very savvy in pointing out that certain jobs afford us opportunities to look good, and that the letters attested that the former Mayor was good at his job. Ribbon cuttings, funding announcements, and quick and personal replies to correspondence should be taken-for-granted components of the work of a public official. What Justice Thomas was saying, was yes,

But what good did he do?

What did he contribute outside of his work life, of his own time and energy, what lasting impact will he have? This struck me because it is a question that I constantly ask myself, and I think we should all ask of ourselves. When the inevitable occurs and we die, what small difference will we leave behind in the world? Yes, being good at our job will mean lots of people at our retirement party, and raising our children well will help set them up for their own successes, but is that all we desire to achieve?

Whether a Judge asks of your lawyer, or in a more likely case, a friend or loved one eulogizes you, what good will they say you did?


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