Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sold Out to Mammon

Dear Grandson,

As you launch your career following your recent graduation from university, we wish you a long, happy and fulfilling life.

Counsel?  Of course, and I know you did not ask.  But here's the thing.  I have lived a long time and have observed many things, so please attend to this.

It is an admirable thing that you will launch yourself into the work force at a starting salary of 50k and money is the thing that will provide you with the wherewithal to keep body and soul together.  But many people I have known sold their time too cheaply.  I do not mean in terms of money, for I know a man who is sixty years old and has a salary of over 300k.  He has sold his time too cheaply.  Not because the salary is too small, but of what he gave up to achieve it.

He is a husband and a father of two children.  He possesses a fine residence on Snob Hill with four-car garage, and each bay home to a Mercedes model or a Land Rover.  My point is, he does not want for stuff.  What he does lack is a relationship with his children, and whatever he once had with his wife is long gone.  How did this happen?  He sold his time too cheaply,  In order to climb the corporate ladder to his current level, he sacrificed his family.   He never had time to play pitch-and-catch with the kids; he never had time to take the family on camping trips.  Oh, he did take them along from time to time when he was sent to an exotic place by his company, but he never spent any of that time with his family, either, unless you count the time sealed into the tube of an aircraft.

The man sold his time too cheaply, sold it for a high-powered salary and a semblance of power and influence.  Sold out, one might correctly say.
My advice?  If you have read this little account, ponder it and decide carefully what you are going to get in exchange for your time.

Grandpa Bob


Lin said...

Bob is very thoughtful. And I agree with his thoughts. We all make decisions in our lives and I know for me, as a woman, it was mostly "career vs family." I chose family and am glad I did. We are not rich in bank account, but I am rich in heart.

I work now to help with college expenses and am miserable. I'm glad that I made the choice to be with my family all those years ago and didn't miss it for what I have now.

I hope Grandson listens to Bob.

Grace said...

Nobody on their deathbed has ever said "I wish I had spent more time at the office".
-- Rabbi Harold Kushner

vanilla said...

Lin, since I first met you I have admired the choice you made in favor of your family. You are blessed, rich in heart.

Grace, I have seen the Rabbi's quote before. Excellent; says everything I did here, and much more succinctly.