Health, Wealth, and Children

In December 2005, a very dear friend of mine, suggested I read the book – Never Eat Alone – by Keith Ferrazi. I found a copy of the book at the Stanford Business School Library and read the book. Though I did not agree with all the views of the author, neither have I ever been a practitioner of his ideas, I liked the book. The book is about networking with people and how to build relationships that last a lifetime. Building relationships takes a lot of effort and time, and what better way to spend time with people you know or would like to know than to invite them over for meals at your place or somewhere else. Hence the title of the book – Never Eat Alone.

Anyway, I’m not writing about the book, but a chapter in the book titled Health, Wealth, and Children. In this chapter, Keith talks about one of his mentors, Michael Milken, a financier and a philanthropist. Quoting from the book (you can read more here):

“I asked how so many people became so invested in their relationship with him. What did he know that others didn’t? Mike paused for a moment, as he does when he particularly likes (or dislikes) a question. Then he smiled.

“Keith,” he said, “there are three things in this world that engender deep emotional bonds between people. They are health, wealth, and children.”

There are a lot of things we can do for other people: give good advice, help them wash their car, or help them move. But health, wealth, and children affect us in ways other acts of kindness do not.”

I don’t remember much from the book I’d read, but this piece of conversation always reverberates in my mind. These three things not only bind people emotionally, but also, in my opinion, are the most important things in our lives. If you miss out on any of these three things, as many people do, your life is incomplete. If you have all three, chances are high you are a very happy person. Many people think of wealth as money or tangible assets, which is correct to some extent, but wealth is much more than money. Wealth is things you want, which can be as simple as food and clothing, or intangible things money cannot buy. How about sense of humor and intelligence?

Someone has said – “Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.” Here is an interesting article by Paul Graham.

On this blog, I’d planned to write mostly about health, wealth, and children and a few other things such as technology and cognitive psychology. However, I’ve found myself writing mostly about things I’m most passionate about: innovation, education, and design, and occasionally, policies and misconceptions associated with education.

“Steve (Jobs) made choices,” Dr. Ornish said. “I once asked him if he was glad that he had kids, and he said, ‘It’s 10,000 times better than anything I’ve ever done.’”

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