- #1729352supergold August 13, 2019 at 10:59 am
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net.
Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles. ” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say
“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s “dance recital” he continued; “Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles”.
“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.
“Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.
It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.”
“Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.
There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”
“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”
“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.” “What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.#1730515supergold August 23, 2019 at 12:14 pm
I’m not sure if I have posted this before but I feel it is well worthwhile posting again.
The telephone rang. It was a call from his mother. He answered it and his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”
Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
“Jack, did you hear me?”
“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.
“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.
“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.
“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.
“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered.
Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…Jack stopped suddenly…
“What’swrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.
“The box is gone,” he said.
“What box?” Mom asked.
“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said.
“I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.
Early the next day Jack went to the post office and retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.
“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.
Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope.
Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.
“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filled his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.
Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, Thanks for your time! — Harold Belser.”
“The thing he valued most was my time!”
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.*
“Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.
“I need some time to spend with the people I love and say I care for,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”
Think about this. You may not realize it, but it’s 100 percent true.
1. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
2. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.
3. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
4. You mean the world to someone.
5. If not for you, someone may not be living.
6. You are special and unique.
7. Have trust sooner or later you will get what you wish for or something better.
8. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.
9. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a hard look: you most likely turned your back on the world and the people who love and care for you.
10. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.
11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
12. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you’ll both be happy.
13. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.
Share this letter with all the people you care about. In doing so, you will certainly brighten someone’s day and might change their perspective on life…for the better.
To everyone who read this just now….
*”Thanks for your time.”* 🙂
Supergold-Wainuiomata (Wellington)#1734936Hero42 October 15, 2019 at 4:24 pm
I was sitting having a leisurely lunch today and watching a lone tui in a kowhai tree. The tree still had most of its flowers so it was a nice food source for the tui.
The tui was resplendent with the blue flashes from his wings showing up either side of his black back and tail. The grey collar and white throat feather were equally resplendent.
Every now and again the tui would hop up to a flower and take a sip of nectar, balancing precariously at times but he had more than enough food and he was in no rush to feed from every flower taking time to stop and sing in between sips.
But for all this bounty this tui did not want to share and would chase any other bird from the tree be it a sparrow or blackbird or another tui.
I thought back a few weeks when I observed another kowhai tree with ten or more tuis feeding in it and there was no fighting over the food, just contented harmony as they feasted on nature’s bounty.
I guess tuis aren’t too much different from people. Some want to keep all the riches of nature to themselves and others are happy to share.
Cheers 🙂#1735056jens October 17, 2019 at 2:27 pm
Hero42 – but sharing riches with spendthrifts is like pouring them into a bottomless pit – and would not reasonable people soon get tired and disillusioned with it – unless they are forced to do it by someone else ?#1735094Hero42 October 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm
I am not going to engage in a financial discussion but here is something you might want to watch and think about.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century examines inequality of wealth through time and how a progressive tax on capital could be the answer.
Based on French economist Thomas Piketty’s book, the documentary-style film looks at the capital superpowers – Britain, France, the US and China – from the Industrial Revolution to World War II and beyond.
Cheers 🙂#1735095Hero42 October 17, 2019 at 4:18 pm
Now this is something to think about.
Part of the Myxomycetes family, a class of slime molds, a blob is neither an animal nor a fungus but has characteristics of both.
Though it has no mouth, no stomach and no eyes, the blob can still detect and eat its food.
The “blob” doesn’t even have a brain, yet it is capable of finding solutions to problems and transmitting the knowledge it learns.
The blob will learn how to get past the barrier and get to its food, and it will start to do this more quickly and more strongly. If we fuse two blobs together, the one which learned will transmit its knowledge to the other.
Is this an ancient organism that is the link between plant and animals? Something that can move, solve problems and learn even without a brain. Something that could eventually evolve into a more structured life form as we think of and know animals.
Really does make you think.
Cheers 🙂#1735098arandarMemberMember since: November 23, 2009
Replies: 10865arandar October 17, 2019 at 4:40 pm
Arandar#1735100supergold October 17, 2019 at 4:53 pm
Now this is something to think about.
Wow! I wonder if the blob is in any way related to the jellyfish as they don’t have a brain either but still manage to get around and find food.
Supergold-Wainuiomata (Wellington)#1735131jens October 17, 2019 at 9:25 pm
The economic function of saving and investment started with the first laboriously polished stone ax, and since without that procedure nothing beyond hand-to-mouth survival on the gifts of nature – (including houses to be built) – can be achieved (or can you give us an example to refute that ?) –
it is not the act of saving and investment (capitalism) that has failed to build enough houses in New Zealand – but because not enough of it has been practiced by those wishing to own or seeing the need for more houses.
In any economy – call it what you like – there is a limit to unprofitable investments, beyond which more poverty than wealth is being created.
So, if too many unprofitably leased state houses compete with profitable rentals and the will for the prudence of house ownership, it is no wonder that a shortage of houses is building up, if the state cannot afford to build more of them without running deeper into debt for unprofitable investment.
So – the fault is not with profitable economics, but with too big a proportion of people (and governments?) not practicing it.
I have read a book by Picketty, and a fair solution to the unequal participation in wealth ownership might be in the introduction of a systematic effort towards wealth ownership by all – which I believe will also get more practical and moral support from the prosperous if the have-nots (too poor to save) are also included in the (subsidized) effort through the taxation system,
And what could we learn from the “blobs” ?
Arandar – what does OMG stand for ?#1735262jens October 19, 2019 at 3:53 pm
In today’s – Sat., 19th of Oct. – Weekend Business Herald the article “Feeling a bit richer?” in a matter of fact way states that traditionally domestic capital poor New Zealand has saved via KiwiSaver in the last 12 years $57 billion, i.e. averaging nearly $20 000 per account, and this has helped some bigger account owners towards first home ownership already.
There is no doubt that KiwiSaving is national and personal wealth ownership creative which benefits the national and personal economies
Would not now – with the budget surplus – be a good time for introducing the $1000.-. KiwiSaver kick-start – unconditionally – to all who have not received it yet ?
This would increase the national wealth reserve while simultaneously being a welfare bonus (or tax rebate?) to those over 65, who up to now have been excluded from enrolling with KiwiSaving.
While becoming part of the estate of those passing away before age 65, it should be available for withdrawal by those close to death because of serious illness at whatever age, if desired so by its owner.
Is that not worth while to think about as a constructive step forward ?
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