Dollars Rule and Life Changes

Money rules everything and it allows you to overcome all other hardships, or atleast that was what I had naively believed since I was a little boy. My impression of life, however, was shattered with the

death of my cousin Tommy. Tragic and horrific as it was, Tommy’s death was my epiphany, making me realize that contentment and a love for life- rather than wealth- is the most important thing in life

In the small town where Tommy lived, his father was the wealthiest man around. Unknown to the family, they had attracted the attention of hoodlums who were on the look out for the right time to strike. One day, Tommy was on his way to the bank to deposit a huge sum of money when six hoodlums accosted him and assaulted him with clubs. Hit viciously on the head, Tommy bled profusely, lying on the street in a pool of blood. The hoodlums took off with the money, leaving Tommy for dead. Fortunately, some passers-by saw him and rushed him to the hospital.

The doctor’s grim look said it all. Tommy was in a critical state with a huge blood clot in his brain. The doctor recommended that Tommy should undergo an extremely delicate and highly risky procedure which involved drilling a hole through his brain to remove the clot. That was his only chance of survival, although the doctor also cautioned that even with the surgery, Tommy might still not survive. I will never forget the expression on the face of Tommy’s family- the total shock, the paralyzing fear and the utter despair. Without any hesitation, Tommy’s family agreed to the surgery. Unfortunately, the thread of hope that Tommy’s family was cling to snapped- the surgery failed.

Tommy spent his last few agonizing days of his life at home. In the midst of all wailing as he breathed his last, questions began to race through my mind: Would Tommy’s life have ended so miserably if he hasn’t been a rich man’s son? Would he have been unscathed if he had left the money on the ground and ran? Would I end up like Tommy if I am rich? That night, as I lay in bed, I continued to ponder: what is more important in life- money or happiness? As the image of Tommy’s last moments kept flashing before me, it struck me that it is more important to be happy than wealthy. Without happiness, wealth and possessions are meaningless. It was then that my perspective on money changed.

Tommy’s death marks the beginning of my maturity, making me realize that that contentment with what I have is far more important than wealth. Life is transient; everyday is a gift I learned to cherish because in the final analysis, what does he gain for being wealth if he is dead?