Back in the 1990’s I learned the hard way about the meaning of life.
I’d always been a naturalist and conservationist and also a regular working guy. I’d always worked for the money and myself, mostly in that order. One day I faced a doctor staring me in the face telling me my prognosis was that I had 6 months to 2 years left. It changed my life instantly and apparently forever. It left me with a mantra, “save the world, make a little money on the side.” Reversing the mantra is not allowed.
I realized that what I might make for myself had little benefit to anyone. Certainly money wasn’t going to prepare my soul for what was to come. I could see clearly that what I had to do was work for something greater than myself. I decided to try to save my own life, which you can read about on the nephrology post here, and I decided to save my own planets life if I could. I managed the first life saving and I am still working every single day on the second life.
Only a few people have offered me support and love for what seems to most as a crazy idea. I am constantly admonished by friends, colleagues, bankers, business advisors, lawyers, venture & vulture capitalists, and more that I’ve got it backward. I cannot count the number of times I have been told I have to focus first on making the money. Sorry they are all wrong and I am singularly right on this but that is my truth.
There are benefits to this mantra. It is true magic. If you live by it always, when you are struggling with being poor, which I am constantly doing. You will find returning to this simple guiding thought will instantly make you feel like your life is worthwhile and has meaning. What can wealth do to hold a candle to that. Try it. You might lose a wife or a girlfriend or both, been there done that with great sadness. Your business partners might decide they just cannot tolerate your hippy dippy ways and break away, with less sadness.
But cats will still purr when you pet them and dogs will still wag their tails and grin at you, and I can tell you one day you might even have gigantic whales sneaking up on you as you work to provide them with a replenished and restored ocean pasture. They will look you right in the eye. Tiny seabirds might fly from your hand after having recovered from near death by warming in your pocket.And you will be able to look in your children’s and grandchildren’s eyes and know you have done everything one might do to leave them with a legacy of a better world than when you came into it. The accumulation of money can’t hold a candle to the satisfaction of knowing this and your soul might just be closer to a state of grace.
And yet it works.