Friday, December 9, 2011

What they say really is true...

"You'll want to arrive on time this Thursday," Professor Stice told my Accounting class of over 500 students. "Being the last day of class, we will have a special treat." I was sure not to be late for this mystery opportunity.

When I walked into the large lecture hall that Thursday I didn't realize for a few moments the presence of a very familiar face on the stage with Professor Stice. Today we had a special guest: Norm Nemrow. Here at BYU, Norm is the friend/nemesis of all enrolled in the Introduction to Accounting course. Despite his recent retirement, Norm's software lessons are used to this day at BYU as well as Harvard University. Accounting students spend hours and hours listening to his quirky, lengthy, but very instructive lessons. But all in all, his lecture today was very little about accounting and very much about life.

Norm was a successful businessman. He had a lot of what the world has to offer, but has since tried to distance himself from wealth. "Money won't make you happy," he told us. And in the sometimes wealth-obsessed demographic I'm a part of that was wonderfully refreshing to hear. Yes it's important to take care of your family. Yes it's important to work hard. But the fleeting little extras that come along with money are, in the end, not worth worrying about. In fact, they can do more harm than good if unchecked.

Just after the lecture I received one of my Dad's classic multi-message texts. It's been a difficult semester for me in more ways than one and he was offering his support and encouragement. He was excited about my life. He had thought about my needs and my goals and wanted to give me his advice. It ended simply with, "I love you, Ian."

Perhaps one day I could be the greatest businessman to ever walk the earth. I could move mountains, revolutionize life as we know it. I could have all the money in this world. But with every ounce of wealth I might possess, I could never buy that message from my Dad. Stored on the tiny microchips of my phone's memory are words worth far more than money. "You have it all right now," Norm told us. And I really do. I really do.

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