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Letter from the Heart – November 2012

October 26, 2012

It is said “May you live in interesting times,” and so we do. As is well known, this week is the Presidential election. Times of financial uncertainty can surely be listed as some of the, if not interesting, at least the most stressfull times for our families. In a quote attributed to Pearl Bailey, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. And believe me…rich is better.” Ms. Bailey, during her life had it “all” and lost it all, and got it all back several times. We can never have it “all” (besides where would you put it?) and being rich doesn’t solve all of life’s challenges (but least you can show up in a limo).

Seriously, as I think of these times of shifting sands, I remember a story I once read that reminds me to put my “stock” into that which is most important:

A woman was walking down a country road when she came upon a stream. Bright sunlight skipped across the surface such that it was almost blinding. But within the pebbles she could see one reflection that out shone the surface light. Bending down to see closer she noticed it was the most brilliant gem she had ever seen. Beautifully cut, its facets spread light in all directions. She briefly thought, “How valuable does this stone seem, among all the others.” With that she slipped it into her bag and continued on her way, never giving it a second thought. It wasn’t long before she happened upon a beggar on the side of the road. This man held out a small, wooden bowl with a few crumbs of bread in it. He seemed to be sitting on everything he owned in the world.

“Good day” said the woman.
“Gid day to you madam” replied the man. “Could you spare a bit of bread from your bag to see me through the day?”
“Yes I could,” reaching into her bag. Having to bend down, the woman’s bag fell open revealing the gem.
The man spotted the stone, thanked her for the bread, and sheepishly asked if he could have the gem instead, never thinking she would part with it. To his surprise, she reached into her bag and handed it to him. The man accepted the gift and scampered down the road before she could change her mind. With this “rock” he would never have to beg again. He was RICH!

Not long after the encounter, the woman spotted the man further down the road, looking a bit dejected.
“Do you need more?” she asked.
“Yes. Much more.” he mumbled.
As she reached into her bag, the man grasped her wrist to stop her. “No. Not that.” He said handing her back the bauble that made him “rich”.
“I don’t understand. I gave that to you. It’s yours” she explained.
“I know and I thank you. I am giving it back to you.” he said pressing the gem into her hand.
“I want what is inside of you that would give away such a valuable gift.”

Money. Cars. Houses. They all come and go like shifting sands. But what’s inside, the real “rich”, endures.

Take Care,

Mary Cox

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