I want to give you my thoughts before I attended a memorial service and wake for a long-standing friend who died tragically in an air accident not too far from where I live. He was a great guy, successful at business, full of life and laughter and a kind, loving man. His passing makes one wonder what it’s really all about.
Small business ownership, when you get right down to it, is seldom about the money. It’s always about the passion, a means to an end, which is to spend more time doing the things you love and being with the people you love. I have seen people who were mainly in it for the money but they lived mean, miserable, barren, soulless lives. It’s the ones who have used their money from whatever business activity they have been involved in or created themselves to bring joy to others, to share and to help and support others.
Many years ago I remember going up to the top floor of a building to visit the private secretary of a chairman who had recently died. The large office, and when I say large, it was really massive, was filled with boxes and boxes of possessions. There also were fine art works. A stillness was in the room and the thought that dropped into my mind was here was someone who had been successful beyond belief, acquiring and building thousands of companies into one giant group, and now after 80 or so years it was all over. It made me think that material goods can be used and shared in this life but not one single bit of all the material wealth that you accumulate can go with you into the hearafter.
In the week before the memorial service and wake of our dear friend, I heard a radio announcer who has been in a certain industry for many years. My father was in the same industry years ago. This journalist started out about the same time as my late father and after decades is still presenting his own show and attracting big advertisers. Even though he is in his advanced years you can still hear the passion in his voice. Everyone from CEOs to young men and women starting out in the sports side of the industry love this person. He can speak to young and old and is deeply interested in what they do and have to say. While many of the journalists of a bygone era have departed, this journalist continues with his show, loving it.
This is perhaps what it’s all about: being inspired, being passionate, being loving and being a good friend. Our dear friend was cut down in the midst of enjoying his life, doing the sport he loved, made possible through his passion and adventurous spirit as an aviator and the fruits of his labour. If we have lived life fully like this human being, enjoying every day despite ups and downs, then people can say we gave life our all, our very best.