In a good society, there’s a role for an effective (and limited) government, but also for a vibrant commercial sector as well as people who provide valuable work for no compensation at all. One such person is Lawrence Linkert, who has been something approaching a one-man cemetery society in Eagan.

The Sun Current newspapers have a short profile of Linkert, who has tended John’s Cemetery for over 50 years. Not only has he not drawn a salary, but he has put his own money into maintaining the cemetery, buying a lawn tractor and new sign, among other things.

Linkert says he has been “compelled to do it,” but adds that “I’ve been blessed” for his work. Together with members of his family, Linkert runs an association that solicits money that helps support the cemetery’s upkeep.

Mike Maguire, Eagan’s mayor, recently praised Linkert during his State of the City address. Drawing attention to the good deeds that private citizens do is one thing that the political sector can do to help the broader culture without getting directly involved.

For some reason, the story reminds me of one of George H.W. Bush inaugural address, in which he invoked the idea of “a thousand points of light.” Unfortunately, government sometimes works to darken those points of light, through heavy regulations or union rules that reserve certain work for government employees.

Finally, here’s a video of Randy Travis singing “point of light.”