We often value the wrong things. The superstar who gives a large donation that gains press and outshines the widow who makes truly sacrificial gifts. Putting value in time on the job over time with family. Buying more and more and more things.
Who should we value, who should we respect? Many are people that lay so low we often don’t even notice.
We have friends who were married very young, had a child very young, and found out in their youngness that the new husband and dad had cancer. A very rare and aggressive cancer. A new marriage, a new child, a dad too sick to work many days, and they had no health insurance.
After two years of chemo and other treatments, our friend said no more. The doctor who treated them still stays in contact and calls our friend one of three true miracles he saw in his practice. He was given six months to live and almost forty years have passed with no recurrence of the cancer.
This young family was told they’d never have more children, and they have three. They came from large families, with modest backgrounds, yet both have gone on to hold responsible positions. They lived economically and became savers. Our friend just took early retirement with absolutely no debt, including their home mortgage.
They are extravagant in many ways – love of their family, time visiting parents and relatives, caring for friends, laughter, and in their kindness and thoughtfulness. They live in gratitude for those that helped them along the way and for opportunities they’ve been afforded.
Overcoming adversity, making financial sacrifices to live better later, caring deeply for others, working hard, and being grateful. Those are values we should value.