*The Family of Man–the classic coffee-table book whose photographs and captions inspire us to cherish the universal qualities of humanity–ends with photographs of couples from around the world. The caption that characterizes all of these forebears: “We two form a multitude.”
The message is clear: Whether in marriages, friendships or kinships of any kind, bonds of love produce descendants whose numbers become enormous. (Remember God’s promises to Abram regarding the spread of his offspring over the Earth?)
In these later years of your life, how could you benefit from knowing about the multitudes that have come from your life—your begetting of children, friendships, associations, cooperatives, enterprises, causes? These thoughts come to mind:
• None of us will ever know the size of the legions that come after us.
• Any of us can make the world a better place when the good we try to accomplish doesn’t end with us.
• Large-scale change starts with a few people who work together on something small.
• Partnering with someone else for the common good results in the deep satisfaction that you may be starting a multitude—to get God’s work done!
By this time in life, it’s likely you’ve formed multitudes, too. That’s always good to remember when you look back at your life. No matter how you count them, masses of people might name you as blessing. What you have cherished will not have departed from the earth. Instead, your influence will have grown greater, inspiring crowds of appreciative descendants.
The next generations of multitude formers….
*The greatest photo exhibition of all time, The Family of Man was created by Edward Steichen in 1955 for The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Recently released in a 60th Anniversary hardcover edition, the book has never been out of print.
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