A letter to my teenage son — about really winning in life
My dear son,
Your gong-gong and por-por (grandpa and grandma) are winning, they really are. If you could litterally win in life for the long run, they are like the Michael Phelps in the pool of life!
Bronnie Ware was a palliative care nurse for many years. A palliative care nurse tends to the needs of those who are dying. She spent several years interviewing her patients and wrote a book, Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
What is interesting is that no one on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I had more money” or “I wish I bought more stuff.”
I used to envy the parents of my peers that made a lot of money in real estate and business. I used to wonder, “Why didn’t my parents spend more time doing that? They could be rich.”
My parents had their struggles with work and business, like many immigrant families did. But they set aside time to be with us. This precious time spent did not bring more material wealth. But now I see that this time investment is what set them up to win.
Material things never last. As the saying goes, “You leave this world the same as you came into it, with nothing.”
It is a hard thing to understand as a young adult. I wanted all the nice stuff too. Most people make the choice to pursue material wealth. It took me till by 40’s to understand what a waste of time that is. If you start to understand why, even just a little, you are way ahead! Good job!
Your grandparents made a choice too. And they continue to choose to plant the right seeds with their grandchildren.
When gong-gong and poh-poh pass, they leave all their material things behind. All of that will be forgotten. But all of you will never forget the time they have spent playing, teaching and being with you.
No big houses, no large fortune. Winning in life is not about that.
You win in life when all 11 of your grandchildren will cry and miss you when you are gone.