Opinion

Good health is the ultimate holiday gift | Nandell Palmer

The Christmas lights twinkled from the stately tree near the grand piano, bedecked with tinsels and other decorative ornaments. The Redmond millionaire hardly paid any attention to it.

Instead, he looked up onto the winding staircase inside his sprawling mansion, hoping to get to the upper floors. But for now, that chance to get to the top will remain only wishful thinking.

Less than a year ago, the 50-something man was diagnosed with a rare form of disease, which is terminal. Gone are the power lunches, the cross-country corporate speeches, and his jetting off to distant lands in search of just a little more pleasure.

Every day he wakes up, he’s very grateful to be alive, not certain when he will take his last breath.

To me, life is definitely showing more of the mystery that it is. Money is the least of this man’s problems yet he can barely eat more than a toddler lest he compromise his health.

As the holiday season fast approaches, there’s a segment of society that is out of work; some cannot find their next meal; those who gave to the food bank last year, are the ones in need this year.

Unlike the aforementioned millionaire, Christmas tree for some this year will be in its pristine form in the open just like how Martin Luther first saw it. These people will have had no roof over their head because of foreclosure or otherwise.

As Luther rode home from work on his horse one moonlight night, the light glistened on the ice crystals from fir trees in the German countryside like starlight. He was so inspired by that sight, that before long he cut down a tree, brought it home and had it lit with candles.

Folks, I have mentioned time and again in this column the joys of having good health. No amount of money can compensate for that. Despite your not having the financial wherewithal this holiday season to do the things you once did, don’t despair. Know that your circumstances are subject to change.

When in doubt, read some of the inspirational autobiographies of yesteryear. The pauper today could very well be the rich man tomorrow and vice versa.

I treated myself three months ago to a gift that can never be bought. I rented “Thomas Mellon and His Times” from the library, and I have uncovered some life’s lessons for which I am richer.

The Irish-Scottish emigrant came to America when he was 10 with his farming parents. For the most part, he self-schooled himself, not wanting anything remotely to do with farming. He went on to become one of this nation’s noted citizens: attorney, judge, banker, and philanthropist, just to name a few.

If you were to strip the dates from some of the things Mellon described in the early days in Pennsylvania when people were losing their properties left, right and center, you would believe he was talking about 2011. It goes to show that things come in cycles.

The biggest factor in making a lot of us distracted is our quest to keep up appearances. We would go to great lengths to ensure that we wear the right clothes and drive the ideal car. Nothing is wrong with those things if they don’t mentally strangle you at night.

There’s something radically wrong with the idea of people running about overspending at the last minute to get a basketball jersey for Little Gerald or a Kindle for  Aunty Sarah. These gifts, obviously given from compulsion because you will be thought of differently, earn you no points whatsoever in the long run.

Acts of kindness have a shelf life that go on for generations. Therefore, the little things you do today for somebody who cannot repay you for your deeds, could position you for something 10 times greater in the future.

If you can help to make a difference in somebody’s life this holiday season, please do so. For a few hours, just forget about what you don’t have and make a mark of kindness to those that are less fortunate.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel. Happy holidays one and all.

 

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