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Accumulations by Peter Children

(Submitted to by Peter Children)

Of late I have been pondering accumulations, there are both good and bad in this arena of psychosomatic behavior. I have over forty years of Gourmet magazines stacked away in boxes; is this a good thing? My feeling is that someday they will provide a chronological comment on the past four decades of culinary expertise…for someone, even if not myself. To me this collection is quite benign; it speaks of someone who loves to prepare food, and does just that.

What about money, hard currency, stocks and bonds, property, diamonds and gold, that along with every other form of wealth? Now we’re getting into deep water, an almost scared place with so many. Lets face it, we all know someone who hoards money, and maybe it’s a relative, a friend or a neighbor. I have known several who fit into that slot; and truthfully I feel a profound sadness for them. These are people who become almost orgasmic when looking at their bank statements, money you see, has replaced so many of life’s pleasures for them, including sex.

I had a relative who always bought day old bread, scrimped and saved for years until her demise. By the time she died she had accumulated considerable wealth, all of it now being enjoyed by others. I had another friend who only had his haircut once a year, ate all of his meals at the Salvation Army kitchen, always denied himself the smallest of pleasures. He was a roofer and labored hard throughout his life handling hot tar and spreading it over roofs. I once gave him six suits, custom made…I found out later he sold them. When he died unexpectedly he had a quarter of a million dollars in the bank. To me he was mentally ill, how sad his time on earth was, gone in the blink of an eye, his self denial and hard work benefitted someone he rarely saw, a relative from a distant city who when coming to claim another mans fortune, had to provide witnesses as to his validly to the account that had become the very alter to another’s life and labor.

I know people who only eat early when they go out to dine, that’s so they can get the “early bird” prices at some restaurants. What they don’t know is that those early bird menus have scaled down portions to accommodate the lower cost at which they are offered. Some people avoid plane trips, they always drive, and they buy food in bulk whenever possible; this is all done to save money. There certainly is nothing wrong with saving money; unless it becomes an obsession…then it’s sick.

As we age our need lessen as to material product, we eat less, and buy less because we already have acquired most of what we need; why then is it important to have tens of thousands of dollars in the bank? If you have seen yourself in the words I have written, consider this; give the money now to those you love and have designated in your will or estate plan, enjoy the gratitude you will receive while you are alive to enjoy it, and witness first hand the good you have done and the change you will have made in someone’s life. If you do not intend on bequeathing your life’s harvest, then call a travel agent. As much as you may want to, you’re not taking it with you in the hearse, and you can’t cash checks in the grave.

Peter J. Children |

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