You Can’t Take It With You

Thanks to the friend who posted this on Facebook today.

That human life is brief when placed in time’s wider perspective is something we all know. I am asking you to consider it on a more visceral level, that’s all.

 What will you do? Well, I’ll tell you one thing you’re not going to do, and that’s take it with you. I’m worth I don’t exactly know how many millions of dollars–I’m still in the Third World compared to Bill Gates, but on the whole I’m doing OK–and a couple of years ago I found out what “you can’t take it with you” means. I found out while I was lying in the ditch at the side of a country road, covered with mud and blood and with the tibia of my right leg poking out the side of my jeans like the branch of a tree taken down in a thunderstorm. I had a MasterCard in my wallet, but when you’re lying in the ditch with broken glass in your hair, no one accepts MasterCard.

We all know that life is ephemeral, but on that particular day and in the months that followed, I got a painful but extremely valuable look at life’s simple backstage truths. We come in naked and broke. We may be dressed when we go out, but we’re just as broke. Warren Buffett? Going to go out broke. Bill Gates? Going to go out broke. Tom Hanks? Going out broke. Steve King? Broke. Not a crying dime. And how long in between? How long have you got to be in the chips? “I’m aware of the time passin’ by, they say in the end it’s the blink of an eye.” That’s how long. Just the blink of an eye.

Should you give away what you have? Of course you should. I want you to consider making your lives one long gift to others, and why not? All you have is on loan, anyway. All want to get at the getting place, from the Maserati you may dream about to the retirement fund some broker will try to sell you on, none of that is real. All that lasts is what you pass on. The rest is smoke and mirrors. – Stephen King
Amen. Mr. King nailed it. Share your time, talent and love with others.  They’re the most beautiful currencies we possess.
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