Our fortunes have changed for the much better in the past 3 years. If you’re the type who likes to learn from success you can skip the next two paragraphs.
If you’re the type who likes to know hardship was endured along the way to the win, then this paragraph is for you. We’ve gone through financial turmoil twice in the last 12 years. First in a bad lease situation from which we could not extricate ourselves until the majority of our assets had been sucked dry. The second time in the financial crash, when we fought intergalactic forces with toy guns.
But we won. We came out the other side. Eventually those intergalactic forces bowed deeply to us. Respect! Honor! They murmured as they left us to prosper in peace.
One of the great benefits of wealth is being able to support others in their dreams. We are by no means wealthy (yet) (though that might happen next week 🙂 . . . but as we gain a more secure financial footing we are able to support others more and more.
It feels good to support small businesses, buy indie soap, purchase the latest book by a blogger you adore, shop for local organic eggs, hire tradesmen to rehab an area in your home.
We ourselves were supported mightily by family members in a moment of crisis. So all we are doing is paying it forward.
Here’s something I didn’t fully understand while in financial panic: We were wealthy then . . .
(In fact, you are wealthy now.)
At the worst moments of financial crisis I helped two friends through suicidal impulses. Two friends who didn’t know each other were both thinking life was no longer worth the pain.
One had already thought it out in great detail . . . I was fortunate to even be speaking with him. The week before he’d made an appointment with himself at his workplace when no one else was around. He had everything laid out he needed to finish himself off. Even a blanket to absorb the mess.
He felt dead already as he prepared his final act. Then a small idea surfaced. Surely this was a soul whisper . . .
Since he was already dead — since he already felt dead to himself and the world — he could treat each day as an experiment. He could experiment his way forward one day at a time . . . and if nothing changed, he could still make his appointment to end it all.
It was eerily similar to Buckminster Fuller, the visionary who at 32 considered suicide until an intense spiritual experience took hold of him. (To read the details, click on his name above to link to his Wikipedia entry . . . and scan down to the subheading Depression and Epiphany.) Fuller decided to live his life henceforward as an experiment, to see what one man can do to benefit humanity.
. . . . . . .
Back then I had no money. But I had this extraordinary resource at my disposal. Two resources, really: Time and attention.
By lavishing time and attention on my friends I was able to become a small support in their ecosystem, where previously there had felt like none.
You too have these riches, regardless where you are on wealth scale. The one thing that matters most — connection — is comprised of time and attention.
Sometimes all it takes is a little support to change the trajectory of a life. You can be that support for others. Time and attention are your greatest assets. Splash some around generously.
For you —
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