I thought I’d start the week off with a little inspiration. Enter Andy Mackie. At 71 years young, he’s chosen to spend the remainder of his life inspiring kids with music. CBS News recently did a story on him. Here are the highlights:
After his ninth heart surgery, Mackie’s doctors had him on 15 different medicines. But the side effects made his life miserable. So one day he quit taking all 15 and decided to spend his final days doing something he always wanted to do. He used the money he would have spent on prescriptions to give away 300 harmonicas, with lessons. When he didn’t die the next month, he bought a few hundred more.
Forget a wickedly awesome vacation. Nope. Just spending the remaining days of his life giving away hope in the form of harmonicas and music lessons. For all he knew, he might have lived a few more weeks, but…
It is now 11 years and 16,000 harmonicas later.
To keep the kids interested in music as they get older, Mackie now spends the bulk of his social security check making what he calls “strumsticks.” He’s given away thousands of these, too. He also buys store made instruments for the kids that show special interest and provides free lessons to everyone by getting the older kids to teach the younger ones.
What a selfless man. It’s people like him that humble me completely. The fact that he even thought of doing what he did is amazing, let alone actually doing it! I hope his story encourages you as it did me.
Got a story of someone putting themselves last? Think it would make a great “in the news” post? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy gave up his medicines. What can you give up to use the money for someone else?