Mom often said she was a “dumb bunny.” She knew Dad was very smart and talented. Dad was brilliant. He was an inventor. He had a college degree in mechanical engineering. He could rebuild a car engine and he could fix just about anything. He was a musician and played the piano, organ, accordion and the guitar. He knew how to draw house plans and even built a small boat so he could take me and my brother Russell fishing.
Mom did not graduate from high school until late in life. She was not skilled in math and even simple analysis of investment choices were beyond her grasp. But she did understand the math of investing in something with permanent returns. She had something bigger than her brain: her heart. She had love to give, and she gave it. She loved and knew what a treasure people were.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
C.S. Lewis understood that giving love was sometimes without returns in this life, but he also knew where to get “safe returns.” He wrote, “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket of coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” – The Four Loves. Copyright © 1960 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Mom wasn’t a dummy. She was one of the smartest investors and one of the wisest women I have ever known. She did not sacrifice principle or principal.