During the season of thankfulness (November to December) our thoughts turn to what is important in our life. We think about what really makes us happy and if we are smart, we will realize what is really important while others will go on living without a look back on those people who made them who they are today.
This past week a post made its way around Facebook which talked about what Steve Job’s last words were before he passed away in 2011. With a little digging and research, I found these words were written by someone else who wanted everyone to believe they were the words of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs did not pass without a family. He did not think he was the kind of person who only searched for more wealth. He had a beloved wife and four children which he doted on according to his sister’s eulogy. He found his sister after searching for years and they became best friends. He really did have a wonderful life so I will not credit these words from him.
The words below are part of what Scrooge might have written before his experience with those spirits from the story A Christmas Carol. These words are from someone who put wealth before people in their search for happiness. These words are etched from a sad life of materialism and then realization just days before death of what was really important. Whoever wrote this realized how much he missed in close relationships with other people. This could be you or me.
“I have come to the pinnacle of success in business. In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success. However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth. It should be something more important. For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way. He can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life. I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, He will give strength and light to go ahead. Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take the illness that is killing you. Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life. Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love; love for your spouse; love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbors. Cherish others.”
If we had known the author personally, these words might hit us harder than they do now with no name to claim it. But I think the message is understood; just as well as when we read in Matthew from the New Testament.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6: 19-21)
It might be a dream to consider the life of wealth, but in actuality, it is temporary and does not last. So for our time here in what is left on earth, consider the life of cherishing others. It will end much happier that way.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.