In the Sunday New York Times, Ben Stein wrote a wonderful column (Everybody’s Business). What follows are the last two paragraphs that helped me keep 2008 in perspective:
“We are more than our investments. We are more than the year-to-year or day-by-day changes in our net worth. We are what we do for charity. We are how we treat our family and friends. We are how we treat our dogs and cats. We are what we do for our community and our nation. If you had $100 million or $100,000 a year ago and now you have a lot less, you are still the same person. You are not a balance sheet, at least not one denominated in money, as was explained to me recently.
Losing and making money are not moral issues so long as you are being honest. You may have a lot less money as this year ends than you did two years ago. But you are just as good or bad a person as you were then. It is a myth that money determines who you are, and if you have over that myth by now, then 2008 will have been a very good year.”
I wish I had written that. I’m glad Ben Stein did.