Nurture relationships

How many of you watched “60 Minutes” Sunday, Nov. 19 when they had as guests billionaires who are giving away large fortunes? Most of us are familiar with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. I wasn’t familiar with the others, but let’s look at those two. Warren Buffet gives away 99 percent of his money every year and he still has plenty left. Bill Gates gives away 95 percent of his money yearly and of course he’s still rich! Just imagine.

I wish they had talked about what gave them these unusual mindsets. Maybe they could influence others to do the same. Most of them had been entrepreneurs. They came up with ideas that paid off. I wonder how many people they put to work.

The United States is full of people who have talents like that. We should have a “Department of Ideas.” This department would evaluate the ideas that are submitted, and support the best ideas. Make it worthwhile for the thinkers and then put people to work and keep the CEOs honest so that we could pay off our debts. I should think it would be very rewarding to see your ideas being so fruitful! How did we get to become such greedy people? Is there any turning back?

I like to watch “Undercover Boss.” It always amazes me how many outlets these people have! And of course, they give away a lot of money at the end to worthwhile employees! There’s nothing like a hands-on experience to learn what the problems are and how to correct them. Have you ever noticed that the employees who make the difference are the ones who have good attitudes? They are givers, not takers. No matter how menial the job is, a good attitude can bring fantastic results!

I remember when I was very young and worked on the farm. One day my father came to pick berries with us and I felt so bad because he was built like a general and he was a proud man.

And he said to me, “As long as work is honest, don’t ever be ashamed.”

I was so proud of him. I learned a lot from him. And my mother taught us how to be good wives, good parents, good entertainers, good workers. She taught us how to be appreciative for everything anyone did for us. She also taught us how to be good storytellers and how to smile a lot. We had fun! They both taught us how to share. We taught our children the same lessons.

What’s different today? Let’s look back and compare. We had less money. We had fewer toys. These toys started coming in with the radio, the victrolas, then the TV, then the computer and video games, just to name a few.

We always ate together and we talked at the table. That’s where we learned about what was going on in the world. We learned about politics. We learned manners and respect and we learned about work. Tables had to be set. (When Rose took “homemaking,” she taught us how to set the table). After we ate, we cleared the table, washed and dried the dishes, and swept the floor. As we did the dishes we sang. We knew all the words to the popular songs and we knew all the dance steps that were in style. Big families were common. Nowadays we have smaller families. We have fewer relationships. People are getting married older or just living together. Do you look at the birth announcements and count how many babies have fathers and mothers with the same last names? I do. The other day there were 10 births. Only two couples were married. I felt so bad. What’s going to happen to those kids? Who will love them? Who will teach them? Who will they sing with, dance with and play with?

It’s not the same. I think churches and schools should have more contacts with the kids. We do have a day when older people from the community come in and read to the children. Why couldn’t they have a day for storytelling? Maybe a day to play games? It’s history and it could be a day for building relationships. I think our young people are being cheated. What do you think?

Have a great life!