Book Trailer For Madam President

Thursday, December 4, 2008

TO MY BIG BROTHER GEORGE


AND so it goes. The final line of It's A Wonderful LIfe. I always watch that movie and I appreciate the line. But, really what does it mean? George has no money. He is in debt. His life insurance policy is all he has. As Henry Potter, the villain says, "You're worth more dead than alive George."
So, what does his brother Harry mean by that final toast? Surely, he speaks of the riches of a well lived life. George has many friends and is loved and this is finally what gives him his wealth. I wonder how many people think of wealth in those terms. I would say we have to redefine wealth. I have come up with a new criteria. Now that I have a family and I see the sands of time slipping away, I think we have all been swindled into thinking what true wealth is. This is my criteria for wealth:

When was the last time you came home early from work?When was the last time you didn't go into work to spend it with your family?When was the last time you called up a friend and did something with them for no reason at all?When was the last time you spent the entire day with your family doing nothing?When was the last time you slept in?When was the last time you took a walk? When was the last time you curled up with a good book?When was the last time you turned off your cell phone or beeper?When was the last time you planned to do absolutely nothing?When was the last time you didn't try and fill all your time with workWhen was the last time you did something with your son or your daughter?When was the last time you watched a sunset? A sunrise? When was the last time you looked at the stars?When was the last time you walked through the woods?When was the last time you didn't read the newspaper or get on the Internet and didn't care what was happening in the world?When was the last time you remembered what it was to be a kid again?When was the last time you went to a coffeehouse with a book?When was the last time you had a party and didn't' give a damn about the cost or what it did to your house?"When was the last time you read poetry?

Well, you get the picture. I have come to view wealth a whole lot differently. I saw a man the other day in front of his million dollar vacation home on a beautiful lake. His son was out on the dock. The man came out and swept the dock while his son watched. When he was done, the man went back into the house. I wondered if that man knows that one day his son won't be there at the end of the dock. So I guess that's what Harry Bailey was saying in the end. He was toasting his brother who didn't have any money but had all the things that money simply can't buy. Time. Money can't buy time and that is precious.
So I say it to loud and clear, here's to George, truly, the richest man in town. Amen.

Books by William Hazelgrove