Saturday 15 December 2007

Power play

What is the point of making more and more money? If you are financially independent, then what is another million dollars mean to you? And if you say it is about power then think about this: to your children you are a God – show them your power – be a better parent. Don’t trade quality for quantity. Spend more time with your kids instead of making more money that you don’t even need. If you can do this then you are more powerful than you could ever imagine. Real power means putting others ahead of yourself. Your children and family need you – they should be ahead of anything or anyone, especially any amount of money.

I remember reading an interview in the newspaper with Janet Reno a few years ago. She said that she was sick and tired of the American tax payers moaning about the fact that so much of their tax dollars are going towards building prisons. She said that the real problem is not about rising crime. The real problem is that the kids of today never see their parents. They are misguided and unloved. She said that if we spent more time raising our children properly then we would not have to build prisons. She sounds smart!

Switch off those cellphones. Stop being controlled by technology. Stop trying to increase the numbers. Quantity is going to get the better of you if it has not done so already. Give quality a chance. Stick to the fundamentals. This is what made companies like Boeing and IBM a success. We seem to be going backwards when it comes to relationship building. We use e-mail, for example, to connect with people. And it is not working. Email, faxes, cellphones, and so on are about more effective communications. They don’t build relationships though. Think about this paradox of progress. If you want people to do business with you. If you want people to trust you then spend quality time with them and do it face-to-face.

I have noticed that so many people use their cellphones when they are driving. This is not only causing more and more accidents but I am amazed at how much people have to say. Also, here is the sad part, I have seen so many parents on the phone with their child sitting next to them in the front passenger seat. Why don’t you talk to your children? Why not use that time to listen to them and do some relationship building. And who are you talking to all the time? The office? Is it business you are talking while driving? Is this what your kids must hear, business and money, business and money … no wonder kids are going into business at younger and younger ages, without any guidance or understanding of the fundamentals. They just sit there and this is what they are exposed to. This is brainwashing. And it is anti-social. Hey, listen to your kids more – switch off those damn cellphones! Especially when you are driving.

I found this story on the Web. This is a sign of our times. It is called R1000 an Hour. A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door. "Daddy, may I ask you a question?" "Yeah sure, what is it?" "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?" "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily. "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy. "If you must know, I make R1000 an hour." "Oh," the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said, "Daddy, may I please borrow R100?" The father was furious, "If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work long hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish behaviour." The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that R100, and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep, son?" he asked "No Daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy "I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on your earlier," said the man. "It's been a long day, and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's that R100 you asked for." The little boy sat straight up, smiling, "Oh, thank you Daddy!" he yelled. Then reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up notes. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his father. "Why do you want more money if you already have some?" the father grumbled. "Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied. "Daddy, I have R1000 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you."

Share this story with someone you like - but even better, share R1000 worth of time with someone you love. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Spending quality time with those you care about is what real power is all about.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker