It is nice that this Saturday’s blog falls on Christmas Day a time when families come together to celebrate. This gives me the opportunity to share something I have discovered over the past few years which has given me great joy and contentment.
I have realised that the most important thing in the world is having good relationships. As long as you have a roof over your head, food to eat, enough money to do the things you want to do and a pension plan then everything else is just ‘stuff’.
This week I read the following in Word for Today which really made me think:
The richest man in the world
J. Paul Getty’s estate exceeded four billion dollars. He was considered the richest man on earth.
The Los Angeles Times quoted something Getty wrote: ‘I have never been given to envy, save for the envy I feel toward those people who have the ability to make a marriage work and endure happily.
It’s an art I have never been able to master. My record: five marriages, five divorces. In short, five failures.’ The newspaper article continues: ‘He termed the memories of his relationship with his five sons “painful”.
Much of his pain has been passed on with his money. His most treasured offspring, Timothy, a frail child born when Getty was fifty-three, died in 1958 at the age of twelve, of surgical complications after a sickly life, spent mostly separated from his father who was forever away on business.
Other members of the Getty family also suffered from tragic circumstances. A grandson, J. Paul Getty III, was kidnapped and held for a ransom of $2.9 million. When Getty refused to pay, they held the boy for five months and eventually cut off his right ear.
Getty’s oldest son apparently committed suicide amid strange circumstances. Another son, Gordon Paul Getty, has been described as living a tortured existence. He was ridiculed in correspondence by his father and was the least favoured son.
Similar sorrow has followed other members of this unfortunate family.’ Putting money first and family second make you nothing more than a wealthy failure.
So if you have been sacrificing your family for your career, start making changes! Don’t look back, rich but regretting, having lived for the wrong things.
A powerful message
This is a powerful read. I know that in the past I have been guilty of this but over the past few years I have discovered the importance of relationships and how content life can be when you focus on the right things.
I have read so many accounts of very successful people who have worked so hard to achieve success at the cost of seeing their children grow up and failed marriages. They are driven to succeed but live with a lifetime of regret because they missed the golden moments of seeing their children in school plays or on the sports field.
They lose their relationship with their partner because they are always in the office or working at home to catch up. They then look back on their lives with regret and it’s too late to do anything about it. This often haunts them for the rest of their lives.
4 million quitting their jobs in the USA every month
In America right now 4 million people are quitting their jobs every month! There doesn’t appear to be any sign of this slowing down. After further investigation it appears that they are quitting their jobs to find work which is less stressful to allow them more time for their families.
They have discovered over lockdown that being with family means so much and when they have gone back to the fast pace of their job they have seen the negative impact of seeing less of their family. This has driven them to resign to find something less stressful with more time for their loved ones.
This is very good for mental health and is a trend I believe is happening elsewhere too. In televised interviews these people who have found new work say they have never been happier even though they may be earning less.
How are your relationships?
As we celebrate today have a think about the relationships you have in your world. Is there anyone you need to reach out to with an olive branch to reconnect with? Are you seeing enough of the people you love most?
When we are on our death bed we won’t want to see our bank statements to check our bank balance or to see how our share price is doing. What we will all ask for is to have the people who are closest to us around the bed giving us the support we need.
We come into this life with nothing, and we go out with nothing and in between we do the best we can. The relationships we build during our lifetimes have the biggest impact on our lives and none are more important than our closest family and friends.
As we enjoy this Christmas Festive period think about the people who are most important in your life and spend some relaxed time pondering on the importance of these relationships and how you can improve them.
Thoughts for the week:
- Who do you need to reach out to this week to reconnect with?
- Think about the most important people in your world and check your relationship with each and see if you can improve this in 2022.
- Tell the important people in your life what they mean to you and how much you love them.
Finally, I want to thank you so much for reading my blogs in 2021 and I want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Truly Blessed 2022.