The Rule Not the Exception

I was kind of done yapping about my book “More Than Money” — even though I've been delighted by the wonderful cards, letters and e-mails I continue getting from so many of you on it becoming a New York Times best-seller — that is, until I received this particular e-mail Thursday from Tom L., out in Miami:

"I found it interesting that you could only identify a couple of dozen corporate and political heroes... people doing good things. I think I know why, and I think you know why. Most guys with money, including you, you money-grubbing capitalist pig, are bad, plain and simple, who don't know what it's like to hurt. You should be ashamed of yourself for vouching for the worst society has to offer."

Tom, I disagree. Did you really read my book?

There are bad apples in every profession — maybe even in yours, certainly in mine. But there are far more good people, earnest people, trying to do the right thing — yes, even when they have a lot of things.

Money doesn't buy you happiness, or cash any cache on class. And, as the characters in my book point out, it doesn't shield you from hardship either. Death, disease and loss hit us all.

I know it sounds cliché, but what matters isn't what we have in our wallets, but in our hearts. It's what unifies us and defines us.

I could have written many more such stories, Tom. I just didn't want a book as big as Bill Clinton's!

I'm kidding, but I'm dead serious about this. I don't think the CEOs, politicos, athletes and stars of whom I write are the exceptions. I think they're the rule.

It's easy to say all CEOs are crooked. They're not. It’s easy to say that all priests abuse kids. They don't. No, I could have written on and on about so many who've given so much, even when they've been hit so hard.

We spend a lot of time bashing what's wrong with this country. I just though it was high time we start examining what's right with this country.

Tom, I could have written “War and Peace.” I preferred to leave it well... and good.

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