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Money doesn’t fix everything

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By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Ever wonder why older people seem “more religious?” Not sure I can define “more religious” precisely, but I am sure you have seen it and can recognize it.

It is simply this. Most people eventually realize money can’t solve every problem in life.

This was brought home to me recently when a dear friend of mine lost a close relative. This is a person who made a pile of money in his working years and has been very, very generous with it. He has run around for decades, solving family and friend problems by throwing money at them.

However, he is finally learning that money doesn’t solve everything. I wish our politicians would learn this.

Back to my friend. He is very smart and has spent a lifetime continuously learning. He can quote learned people with all sorts of initials of accomplishments behind their names. He can explain in intricate detail the arguments of Darwin and other evolutionists to the point they are almost believable.

The reality though is that those people with strings of initials behind their names were bestowed those initials by other people with initials behind their names. Venerated people bestowing veneration upon other people. It is nothing more than that.

I am not against education. I say get all you can if you are so disposed and able. However, one person pronouncing accolades on another person is not certification that the venerated have it all correct.

There is the old saying, “You can’t take it with you,” and it is still true today. Despite all the knowledge humankind has gained, we are still not completely sure what happens when we die. Yes, many people, including myself, will say, “I am certain where I am going when I die.”

However, that is more a statement of faith than something we have verified in this physical world. But it is a good bet. If we have the faith, and the certainty thereof, what have we lost if we are wrong? Nothing.

However, if your pride keeps you from this path of faith and you are wrong, what have you lost? Everything. I’ll take the sure bet.

I think my friend is at the place where I can talk to him about this. I have prayed for this place to come in his life for years, and I think it is almost here. Readers of faith, pray that I or someone better than I can reach him soon.

Do you ever take a walk through a cemetery? I used to live near an old Jewish cemetery in Cincinnati, just off Ludlow Avenue in Clifton. Many a Sunday afternoon I would take a walk over there and ponder these people’s lives. Now, their physical bodies are gone, like Robin Williams said in “Dead Poets’ Society” where he describes long gone classes of students, now dead, being eaten by worms. Our bodies will be eaten by worms, despite the best boxes Batesville can make.

So, that is our physical fate. What is our spiritual fate? That is the question we deal with in houses of worship.

I used to think when I get to heaven, my first question is going to be “Who shot Kennedy?”

What a foolish and childish attitude. I suspect it will be more like embarking from a train, where as soon as one steps off, one will forget the train ride and be overwhelmed by the joys of the future ahead.

Don’t be too proud to embrace the spiritual. Your money, if you have any, is worthless.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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