“MICHAEL, when is enough, enough?” I have been asked that question many times before.
My usual reply is, “Enough of what?” And the reluctant answer, said with a wide grin is, “Enough of money.”
I wonder how many people with lots of money would refuse a million pesos, or even a thousand pesos, if it were handed to over to them without any strings attached. I think even Bill Gates, would not refuse an extra million dollars, nor would he not strive to earn an extra billion dollars, given the opportunity.
Would you refuse the same opportunity, even if you had “enough”?
I continue to share this true story about our siblings: When we were kids, already helping out in our family’s bakery and grocery, we would say, “If we had twenty five centavos among the three of us, [siblings] we would go and buy one “kok toy” or empanada from Kayang Restaurant (a favorite dining place of our family for special occasions, over 50 years ago) and share it among ourselves”. And we would work hard to earn that allowance by selling pandesal and doing odd jobs in the grocery.
Of course, our dreams grew bigger. “If we had P10,000 we would buy a Volkswagen Beetle, to go around town.” We never got to do it. But our father was able to save a little bit more and bought us our first family car, a Volkswagen Combi, in 1970, to replace the 1950’s Willy’s jeep and the old green Chevy converted van from the1940’s.
And our dreams continued growing. Soon we were wishing to save to up a P100,000 so we could “retire” and not have to work 12 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week.
Today, we are still working, but with different objectives already.
We have to continue using our time and God-given talents, to be the best we can be, in all that we do. We may have provided ourselves with our needs, but we have to continue providing employment to those who trusted their careers and future with us. We cannot simply stop and say, we have enough, “Thank you. Be on your own”. Nor can we say to those who need jobs, “If you can’t find any here, just leave your families, and go abroad.”
Thus, we keep on working, but we must keep reminding ourselves that having enough money is a great and good objective, but getting attached to money is what is wrong.
1 Timothy 6:6- 10 says, “But godliness and contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
My Dearest Children,
There is a great difference between “loving money” and earning money for the many good things it can do.
Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have put up a foundation to help the people of the world after setting aside a small percentage for their own children.
Warren Buffet, a great investor and consistently in the top five of the world’s richest people, said something about just leaving enough for his children that will provide them enough comfort but not too much to take away their motivation to strive and work well.
Yes, may you not love money, and always do everything for the Glory of God, and be the best you can be, in all that you do.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on April 22, 2017.
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