A Personal Letter To A Person Of Wealth And Fame
This letter is going out to a famous person of incredible wealth. The
identity of the person to whom this letter is addressed is left out for
reasons of privacy.
I wanted to have what you have. To make up for a number of life
deficiencies in my youth, I wanted to substitute what I did not have
with power, money, and influence. A part of me still thinks that power,
money, and influence can smooth over the empty spots, the hurts, and
dreams not realized. Of course, I know better now. As my hair has gotten
grayer, I have begun to put away the folly of my youth. Oh, the folly is
still there but at least I now have a wiser perspective on what is
important in life than I did as a youngster or as a young man.
You've had a lot of success but also a lot of trouble in your life.
You reached what many people think of as the pinnacle of success and
even fame. Recently, things have not gone so well and my heart goes out
Your secretary will probably screen out this letter so you will not
see it. You will probably reject all my reflections here because I have
never been able to do what you have done, I have never been at your
pinnacle of success, and I know more about the bitterness of failure
than most people would ever want to know.
So now that I have set these matters up, I would like to reach out to
you, one human being who does not live in your power, money, and
influence world, to another. There is a great ocean that divides us but
we both stand on the same bridge because we both understand the bitter
nature of life.
One key reflection I have is that although life is sometimes bitter,
our real mark upon the world is what we are able to do in the most
bitter of times. How we handle our grief and loss does more for or
against the world than we can ever imagine. Hitler handled and then
manipulated the grief and loss of a nation to horrible ends both for
Germany and millions of other people in the world. I am not sure about
what power, money, and influence do to you when you have grief and loss.
I suspect there is the tendency to try and fix what cannot be fixed. I
suspect there is the yearning to do something when nothing can be done.
If we leave out power, money, and influence from the everyday equation
of our life, we are left with a lot of emptiness unless we have a God
upon whom we can rely.
I suspect that power, money, and influence makes people really stupid
about life in general and stupid about spiritual matters in particular.
With power, money, and influence you can buy your way out of any number
of problems and deal with any number of issues. The problem is that even
when we buy our way out of problems, there is the lingering problem of
gross unhappiness and emptiness left hanging over us. I grew up hearing
money does not buy happiness. I never really believed it but I am
beginning to understand the truth of it and I am gradually accepting
Even in the darkest corners of our lives we can all have inner peace.
I don't know how much inner peace you have...probably not a lot. I don't
know how much inner hope you have welling up within you but you probably
do not a lot of inner hope flowing up within you either. Using the
power, money, and influence paradigm upon which we all seem to be so
convinced will solve all problems, you also probably look for love in
all the wrong places.
I wanted to be like you. Now I feel bad when I look at your life and
what you have and what you do not have. I have great compassion for you
and I share your sense of grief and loss. All the worldly things I
wanted I have not acquired. I share you sense of emptiness. All the
worldly fullness of life I expected to have I not acquired either. I
understand your sense of not being loved, wanted, or needed by the
people who matter the most.
Although I share your pain, I also have an incredible peace. I share
your grief, but I also have a dynamic and substantial sense of purpose
about what it is I am supposed to do in life. I share your
disappointment, but I also have a sense of the love of God in me that
transcends every disappointment I could ever have. I share your sense of
not being loved enough by others but I live under an outpouring of love
from my God.
I try to give answers every week to people who live in hurt and pain.
They do not express their hurt and pain to me openly but I know it is
there. This letter is going out to them. This letter is going out to
their hearts and souls. To them and to you, I ask that you look up to
God. Yes, I know you are probably a huge doubter about issues relating
to God. With God, you do not get a P and L statement or a cash flow
analysis. With God, you either get a fullness report or you get an
emptiness report…all written on your heart. You would think we would
all be able to read those kinds of spiritual numbers but we get so mired
down in trying to materialize God using our power, money, and influence
paradigm we fail to see the spiritual truth when the spiritual truth
burns within us.
With power, money, and influence, you can dictate letters to your
secretary. You can also dictate the terms of surrender of your business
foes, dictate the terms of surrender of your adversaries in other parts
of life, and even try to dictate the terms of relationships with people
who are closest to you. However, with power, money, and influence you
cannot dictate anything connected to God. God only works on His terms
and not ours. I suspect you know this.
As a final thought, you are not alone. Many people pray for you every
day even when you may not want their thoughts and prayers. You may not
believe this, but you have a loving God who stands over you who will
never ever leave you or desert you. You have a loving God who pours out
His blessings upon you every hour even when you may doubt He exists. I,
along with many others stand with you in spirit.
Rev. Patrick Kelly