Michael Drosnin wrote a book about a man who wanted more wealth, so he built one of the biggest financial empires of his day. He wanted more pleasure, so he paid for the most glamorous women money could buy. He wanted more adventure, so he set air speed records, built and piloted the world’s most unique aircraft. He wanted more power, so he acquired political clout that was the envy of senators. He wanted mord glamour, so he owned film studios and courted stars. Drosnin tells how this man’slife ended: ‘He was a figure of gothic power, ready for the grave. Emaciated, only 120 pounds stretched dnver his six-foot-four-inch frame….thin scraggly beard that reached its way onto his sunken chest, hideously long fingernails in grotesque yellow corkscrews….Many of his teeth were black, rotting, stumps. A tumour was begining to emerge from the side of his head….innumerable needle marks….Howard Hughes was an addict. A billionaire junkie.
So here’s the question: If Hughes had pulled off one more deal, made one more million and tasted one more thrill, would it have been enough? The illusion of gratitude is that we will experience it more, if we get more? No, making sure a child gets everything they want destroys their initiative and dulls their sense of gratitude and contentment. Don’t you find it interesting that the man who wrote, ‘I have learned the secret of being content’ also wrote, ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God Christ Jesus concerning you’ (1 Thesalonians 5:18)? You cannot make yourself a more grateful of contented person, but you can pray for it and open your heart to it.


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