November 11, 2005

Letters to the Editor

For our letter writing policy, click here

No letters to the editor were published this week, so here is last week's letter.


Seek what’s really important in life

Several years ago, while I was a general supervisor of a manufacturing plant, there was a man whom I will call John (not his real name) who seldom missed a day of work. On the few occasions when he could not come to work, he would always call in so his supervisor would know that he would not be there.

Then, one day, John failed to show up at work and did not call in. Everyone was wondering where John was and what had happened. It was so unlike him.

John was 39 years old at that time and had an ambition to become a millionaire by the time he reached his 40th birthday. The man owned some heavy equipment, bought and fixed up old houses to resell, bought merchandise from wrecked semis to sell at a discount, in other words, anything to make money.

He worked at the extra jobs from early morning until time for lunch then worked at the plant for the afternoon shift. Each day was the same, until the day he failed to come to work. About two or three hours after the start of the shift, John came in and asked me if we could go to the office and talk.

The two of us went to my office. He told me that he had arrived home at the usual time to eat a lunch his wife had prepared and served. He finished his meal and went into the garage to do some more work until time to leave for the plant. While he was busy in the garage, a deputy sheriff came up and served him with divorce papers that his wife had filed.

John said, “Mr. Moody, I was shocked. I never knew there was anything wrong. If she wanted new furniture, I bought it for her. If she wanted new clothes for the kids, I bought it. I can’t imagine what was wrong.”

I said, “John, didn’t you ever stop to think that maybe it wasn’t the ‘things’ that she wanted? Don’t you think maybe she wanted you?”

He just couldn’t understand why she wanted a divorce. I repeated what I had said, but he just didn’t get it.

John had eyes, but he saw not. He had ears, but he heard not. He had a mind, but did not comprehend. He had energy, but he misused it.

John’s story had a very bad ending. Not long after this day, John was lifting a large log onto a piece of equipment and it rolled back and crushed him. He had lost his family and never reached his 40th birthday.

How many of us are like John? What keeps us from the ones that we love may not be work or the desire for money. It could be sports, hobbies, hunting and fishing or the corner bar. Too late, we realize that our children have grown up and left home, or maybe our spouse has left us, or perhaps death has taken those who really meant the most to us and we are left to face a lonely, old age.

When will we learn that some old clichés are true? “All that glitters is not gold.” Or, “Money cannot buy happiness.” If John could come back today, I’m sure he’d say “Amen!”

-Winferd E. “Bud” Moody, Indianapolis


Local site Links: