Truthfully, this isn’t the first thing I have ever written for the Guide to Wealth and Health. I wrote a lot and deleted a lot. Some of it is still on my hard drive, but I never really wanted to post it.
I felt a bit of hypocrisy writing about wealth, when I wasn’t rich, and writing about health when I was overweight. I went through a change in my life and I got really healthy, but I still struggled with the theme, because I am not wealthy.
There has been a lot happen to me over the past month, and that is what gave me the idea to write about the richest guy I know.
I know a lot of people that are financially “rich.” Doctors, lawyers, successful businessmen, owners of baseball teams, and magazine executives… a literal who’s who list of what everyone would consider being successful, wealthy people.
None of those people even came to mind when I thought about the richest guy I know.
The richest guy I know hands down was my dad. Known to some as Zip, or Uncle Zip, Johnny, John, The Chip Man, or Pops. My dad didn’t have many possessions, nor did he have much money, but he was the happiest person that you would have ever met.
True happiness is really hard to come by. Anyone that has ever lived life for more than a minute will tell you it is hard to be 100% happy your whole life. I can honestly say that my dad was happy his whole life.
When you meet someone overly happy it is easy to jump to conclusions that they have an overly easy life. My dad had went through a lot: Polio in the 4th grade causing one side of his body to be smaller than the other, scoliosis, bad vision, had an accident with a push mower causing him to be missing toes, heart problems consisting of numerous heart attacks, congestive heart failure, numerous stints, COPD, one lung was reduced to the size of a small air pocket, and I am sure other problems. He had gone through financial hardship, divorce, and the loss of a daughter due to suicide. Yet despite all of this, he remained happy.
My dad literally had nothing on the day he died. He lived a life of simple means, but financially there are some things my dad always did. He always gave to his church, 10% of his income. He never had a huge income, in fact, I have made more money in one day that my dad lived off of the last 10 years of his life. My dad never overextended himself. My dad did have a vehicle that was never financed. Furniture for his house, and a few books. He also loved to fish so he had the equipment for that. He never learned to use a computer and got by just fine without it.
He did, however, leave behind a legacy that would be hard to live up to. He was kind, honest, a good spirit, that worked to live rather than lived to work, he gave thanks, and gave credit. He knew that every day was an event, and never to take life too serious. He never gossiped, lied, or cheated.
I will never forget when he was hospitalized about 5 years ago. My brother had a camping trip planned and he was debating on going, my dad said: “you better go, and if something were to happen just know that your dad lived a great life and everything can be taken care of when you get back.”
I remembered those words until he took his last breath. Every time I would go see him in his final days I would ask how he was doing and he would always tell me he was good, and they were treating him very good in the hospital. He was literally in a hopeless position and still kept positive.
I will never truly understand exactly what gives someone the great disposition like my dad had, but I do know this: