Kindred’s Special: What Value or Good Comes From Money

I do not belong to the faith of a very good friend who happens to be a Catholic priest. After a pleasant meal and evening of good conversation, we proceeded to take a stoll, visiting the shoreside of my pond/lake. Somehow the conversation came to his hopes and dreams for his homeland Kenya. He related how he was in the process of building a much needed school for his community. His sincerity and hopes in some manner forced my hand into search out my wallet and I gave him a generous cash gift toward his goal. Now, you may dispute the wisdom of reducing my life savings on a whim of a prayerful priest and friend. Some months past with his travels to Kenya and working on the project. He sent me a picture of the school and the wall he captured in the photo was my “gift”.

The spirit of the Lord works in mysterious ways. I have often thought about the potential comparison of that deed and transaction. On the one hand, I could be a little financially better off; in reality, it boosted my spirit and genuine joy to have been a part of his dream, his school, his people. That enriched my life that no money could equal.

When I think about chess and the years of help and inspiration to others as a servant at a time when chess was on the lowest of scales as a sport and organization infantile in America, the oft praise given students and players who possessed skill in handling a battle being my main concern, I am reminded of the many who came to play for enjoyment and challenge of a good fight. The elite will have their reward. I was told that I wasted my time that was better spent on honing my own skill and playing in tournaments with a set goal to achieve mastership. I may have achieved it but it would have left a void in my heart that serving others brought riches to my spirit and accomplishments far greater than any title or chasing the rainbow for the rainbow’s sake.

I applaude those who desire to achieve success in chess and there is nothing wrong with aspiring to mastership of our noble game. Such skill and success among a few I have known proved transitory in nature and a personal memory and interest often waning with age. While I have had some wonderful chess battles from the time of my youth to this old gray head of 72, the lasting joy has come from chess service and aid in governance and leadership.

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