What is Greater?

A few days after doing a blog post to honor the anniversary of my mom’s death, my dad unexpectedly passed away. I can’t keep up with life right now, and don’t have much strength left for this day, but cannot sleep tonight.

I was thinking about the conversations we shared over the years, when I was taken aback by this passage written 3 years ago that tells of one of our most important moments.

To honor him, here is the excerpt I would like to share with you:

I rolled down the windows and turned on country music for my dad.

Our conversation was delightful and perfect. After some time, I asked him if I could test out a thought progression I had been working on. He said, “Yes.”

So I began with the question, “Dad, what is greater, wealth or fame?”

After a slight pause, he responded, “Wealth, I can get what I need for my family.”

“Okay, wealth or power?”

“Power,” he quickly replied, “with power I can get wealth.”

I wondered if the influence of power came from his experience in prison. Then I asked, “Power or status?”


The pace picked up, “Power or beauty?”


“Beauty or pleasure?”


“Love or pleasure?”


“Love or truth?”


Then I said, “Okay, this is getting good,” and smiled. “Love or wisdom?”

“Love. If I could understand love or have love, I would rather have love.”

“Love or hope?” This is when delays before answers began to get longer. That was okay; we had plenty of time now.


“Love or faith?” This one took the longest. I said, “It’s okay dad. This is supposed to be hard. People have been thinking about these things for a long time.”


“Love or life?

He said, “Love. Life without love doesn’t seem to be worth living.”

“Love or death?” I asked.

“Love. I would die for you, son.”

**From the book: Opening Happiness

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