Are you living life for love or money?
I spent some time recently with an 87-year old woman in a hospital.
When I asked her how she was feeling, she said she was thinking about how she had messed up her life.
I’ve known this woman for decades. I knew her husbands, her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had beauty, brains and financial security.
I asked her why she thought she had messed up her life even though I already knew. Here she was in what was probably the last decade of her life and no one had come to visit her in the hospital during the past week even though several relatives live within an hour’s drive, and a few even lived in the same town.
“If I’d had more money,” she murmured. As though money could buy her the affection she was missing. It bought their attention when they needed money but that was all. Sadly, it never occurred to her that it was love, support, caring and time that makes another inclined to love you.
Because she grew up extremely poor in a horribly dysfunctional family, she believed that money would buy her everything she wanted. At one point, I heard her admit that her greatest disappointment in life was learning that rich people could be as crass as poor people. In her mind, money was the answer to a happy life—a life surrounded by intelligent and classy people.
Today everyone has enough of their own money to ignore the rich lady in the hospital bed. They had known all along that they were being bought, but it wasn’t the kind of love they were looking for. And because she hadn’t shown them the kind of love they really needed earlier in life, they didn’t love her in return. Now she is just a pathetic old lady laying in a dark, lonely, antiseptic room.
So here’s my question to you:
Are you trying to bribe others to love you with money, gifts, free loans, etc.?
This year, give those around you the kind of love they really need and want: your occasional undivided attention; your support of their dreams, your hugs and kisses; your praise and encouragement; your heart.
Not your wallet.
What is the most important thing in your life? Tell me in a comment below.