The Money Pit

The Money Pit

So I’m visiting this absolutely delectable Italian bakery in fancy-schmancy Las Olas.

The Sicilian pizza by the way is amazing.

We are there for a while enjoying the food, conversation, and ambiance.

My wife offers to take a picture of me in this great place.

The lady behind the counter is so nice and let’s me join her behind the counter for a moment.

In comes an obviously wealthy customer and as he sees me going to take a quick photo, he makes a big “Hmmmmm!”

The lady graciously says “Just one moment sir.”

And irritably waiting for just this brief moment, he blurts out, “I’m the customer and my money comes first!”

When he said this, another lady in line made a huge shocked face–as did we all.

It is incredible how some people’s money goes to their head and they don’t realize it all comes from G-d and can just as quickly be taken away.

Wealth, health, our loved ones, and happiness–they are ephemeral and we should be ever grateful for them for as long as we have them.

Being arrogant and thinking we are better than the next guy–that we are somehow more deserving or above it all–is a huge fallacy and G-d sees all.

Maybe this rich guy’s money comes first to him, but I imagined the Master Of The Universe hearing these words and having the last eternal laugh. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

That Special Cane

Cane_with_mirror_and_horn

After seeing one of my colleagues with this souped-up cane at work this week, I learned that this is the special gift for someone reaching their 50th birthday.

This is not an ordinary bamboo cane as you can see, but one with a rear-view mirror for passing, a honking horn for warning people out of your path, and even a little green change purse for the toll. 🙂

While I am no spring chicken anymore, I am still not old enough to receive my special cane–oh shucks!

But this did give me pause to think about what it means as we get older and the weeks and months at work turn into years and decades.

Before we know it, the up-hill climb of life, plateau and eventually heads in the other direction.

It reminds me of whenever someone asks my father how old he is…he flips the numbers–so for example, when he was 72, he would say I “turned” 27 and so on

It’s not easy getting old(er), we all want to be back in our youth or prime of life, which my father calls the time period, “when the world is too small,” and I think what he means is our aspirations are large.

This week at work, I learned that one of my colleagues who retired just a few years ago passed away from one of the horrible “C’s” — it was terrible to hear this.

Moreover, it reminded me of other colleagues who I have seen work hard their whole life, sacrificing and putting off all types of enjoyment, and waiting for that big day when they would retire and then they “could live the good life.”

And one guy, I remember, did retire after putting in his time and within about 3 months, he dropped dead of a massive coronary–I don’t think he even made it with heart beating to the hospital.

Life is too short!  And of course, life is hard–that’s how we are tested and grow–but we can’t wait for the good times. We need to savor every moment of our lives, appreciate our loved ones , and enjoy what we do day-in and day-out.

Else, we may miss the finest times that we have here on earth and then we really will be left holding that special cane and looking back at our lives in the rear-view mirror wondering why we wasted so much precious, precious time.

>Never Lose Faith; Never Give Up

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http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=us/2011/04/21/holocaust.survivor.bar.mitzvah.WRAL

I really liked this story on CNN (source WRAL) on Holocaust survivor, Morris Glass, who is having his bar-mitzvah at 83–Mazel tov!

Mr. Glass was denied his rite of passage as a teenager to become a bar-mitzvah, because his family, like so many at the time, where being murdered by the Nazi’s in the Holocaust.

As he is one of the dwindling few Holocaust survivors left to tell his story–I value and appreciate these lessons that Mr. Glass shares in the interview:

– Be grateful for your loved ones.

– Never forget that terrible things happened to people (slavery, murder…) and could happen again, if not prevented.

– Everything you do, you should do right, even the little things.

– You are free to serve G-d, not free from responsibility.

– You are the future.

– Never lose faith; never give up.

To me, these are lessons in life and in leadership that are universal whether we are at bar-mizvah age (13) or at 83 and whether you are you celebrating Passover, Easter, or whatever.

Happy holidays.