Articles published in the Richland County Bar Association's Richbar News

The Man Who Had Everything

November 20, 2012Richbar News Articles

Unlike Fred Flinstone, and a thousand other cartoon/sitcom/family drama stereotypes, I really love my mother in law.  She’s always treated me like a son, and she’s never even ONCE tried to hit me with a rolling pin.  And she gives me great Christmas presents.  Usually.

This year, in addition to a Barnes & Noble gift card (woohoo!) she gave me another gift — a Brookstone battery-operated wine bottle opener.  “Oh no!”  I thought.  But it was official.  I had finally become The Man Who Had Everything.

Don’t get me wrong, my hands DO get tired pulling cork after cork out of the wine bottles that I consume from my generous 2200 square foot wine cellar (okay, not really).  Even screwtops will wear you out.  On a serious note, though, it made me think — what do I really want in life or, more importantly, what do I really need?  What do any of us need?

We lawyers tend to be deep thinkers.  We ponder the implications of a thousand details.  We see how the details fit into the big picture.  We go a thousand miles an hour in the process.  That means that sometimes we are too busy to do much deep thinking about our own situations and whether or not they are working.

How many times in the last year have you been looking at your cell phone when your kids were talking to you?  For me, it hasn’t happened since last night.  I was trying to multi-task.  It was not working very well.

Back to the question, though, what do we really NEED?  Not very much, really.  Our loved ones, food to eat, a decent place to live, interesting work, and friends.  Most of us are blessed with some of those things, and many have all of them.  One of the biggest surprises that I have had in being a lawyer is how many great friends I have made who are lawyers, and how civil and friendly things often are.  Some of my very best friends are those lawyers who are supposed to be “on the other side.”

Someone once said that business is just friends with money attached.  I think that’s true.  And I count my lawyer friends – many of you – as one of the few things I really need in life, and treasure.  It makes me prouder than you know to get to be editor of the Richbar News.

So, before we get too far into failed New Year’s resolutions and the like, take a minute to think of all the friends that you have in the Richland County Bar Association, and all around you.  Put down the phone and see all of the other treasures in your life.  And open a good bottle of wine.  Manually.

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