The bacon was limp and the eggs over cooked, I hated both. At least the coffee was hot which help wash it down. Sitting next to me at the counter was an elderly gentleman in his late 60’s. Being polite I sent a good morning nod his way.
An hour later the bell rings. There at my counter is the same elderly gentleman from the restaurant. He is overwhelmed by the coincidence of having sat next to me at breakfast. Excitement soon rolled out a yarn of his great new business venture. A dream of always wanting to own his own business but never having just the right idea until now.
Having sat next to me just that morning and since I was a printer and printing was the key to his idea, it was like a sign from God, affirming his idea as fool proof. In addition, I was to be his new business partner. Well as much as he was overwhelmed I was underwhelmed with his idea. I already had a business and God must have forgotten to shine His light on the significance of sharing the same air at breakfast. I tried to explain I was a local printer and random meetings with customers at restaurants or grocery stores in the community was not that extraordinary. He bought none of it.
I listened, advised him, and tried to dissuade him all to no avail. I referred him to a web printer down town. Over the months he came into my shop seeking advice and hoping I would reconsider being his partner. He would report his trials and woes as his retirement nest egg frittered away on his business idea. For two years he kept at it but in the end he was broke. His eldest son had heard about me from his father and one day son stood in my office wanting an explanation for his father draining the retirement that his mother and father so desperately needed.
I showed him every invoice of product is father had ordered. I was glad it was no more than a few orders well under $1000.00. He went away sad that his father had been so foolish.
A principle in life: when a person is young he is allowed to be foolish because he has time to recover but when a man matures and is old he is not allowed foolish missteps. The reaper shows little mercy demanding payment in the form of low energy, discouragement, and little time to recover. He violated principle after principle and made decisions to move forward based on wishes rather than a foundation of knowledge. How very sad to lose a life time of savings on wishes.
The old man, creeping into his seventies, would try to find work. Few options were in front of him and his future was bleak. I never saw the gentleman again but I have often wondered how he and his wife fared. My guess is his children had to step up and support them.
Why do I tell you such a tale – maybe it is for me and not for you at all. A reminder that the different times of a man’s life has its own stage where prudence needs to be acted out, where wisdom and common sense should not be over ruled by wishful dreams.
Thanks for listening - Grayquill