This blog post is taken from my book Golden Nuggets, and it’s a good reminder to stop and take the time to thank those who have helped you.
On September 8, 1860, the steamship “Lady Elgin” set out to make the trip from Chicago to Milwaukee, and she was rammed by a lumber schooner and sank.
279 of the passengers and crew members died and of the 113 who were saved, 17 of them were saved by a Northwestern University student, named Edward Spence.
Edward was an experienced swimmer, and with a rope tied to his body, he’d swim through the waves to grab exhausted passengers and his associates would then pull Edward and the victim back to shore.
After 16 trips into the cold water, Edward finally passed out.
He was rushed to the hospital, but he never completely recovered and as a result… he spent the rest of his life as an invalid in a wheelchair.
When he was 80 years old, he was interviewed by Chicago newspaper reporters, and they asked him…
“What’s your most vivid memory of that tragic day when the ‘Lady Elgin’ went down off the coast of Evanston?”
Edward’s answer was…
“The thing that stands out to me most is that not one of the 17 people whose lives I saved ever came back to say thank you – not one.”
What a good reminder to intentionally look for opportunities to thank those who’ve helped you.