These word were written in 1966 by Valeria Simpson with music by Nikolas Ashford, commonly known as Ashford & Simpson. The song was made famous by The Temptations in 1968, Diana Ross in 1970, Michael McDonald in 2003, and recorded by the song writing duo in 1982. Most of us know the tune, hum the words and may even know the arm movements usually included. What I find incredible in that so many artists have had hits with this song across many decades.
How generous to share your words and music and to let so many other people succeed with your work. Ego has to step aside, maybe money changed hands (or didn’t) and what a moment it must have been to hear this one over the decades recorded and re-recorded by multiple styles. I imagine Ashford & Simpson listening to the radio then hearing their song come across the air waves. It must have been an incredible thrill.
When asked most people want to do something that matters. They want to leave a legacy of some sort – children, charities, places, investments. They want the world to know that they left it better than they found it. The same must be true for Valeria Simpson as she shared her lyrics with generations around the globe. Something she wrote has crossed over and become iconic, meaningful and brought joy to so many people.
Be it words, a tune, an idea or an event, what we do matters to someone. We may not see the results of our labors right away so we must persevere and keep working. Create, build, support, finance, all of these things matter and have the power to change people’s lives. Do something today that leaves people better than you found them. Do something today that you can share to make the world a better place.