The Seed of Succession

Dead plant in pots

Dead plant in pots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Seed Jean MacArthur May-01-2010

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose
a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to
do something different. He called all the young executives in his
company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have
decided to choose one of you. “The young executives were Shocked, but
the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today –
one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come
back here one year from today with   what you have grown from the seed I
have given you.
I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one
I choose will be   the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received
a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the   story. She
helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.
Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After
about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about
their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a
plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had
killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had
nothing Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept
watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company
brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot.
But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his
stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life,
but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.

When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the
other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put
his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few
felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his

Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and
flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be
appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his
empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front.
Jim was terrified.. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he
will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his
seed, Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and
then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief
Executive Officer!

His name is “Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a
seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back
to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was
not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.
When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another
seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and
honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one
who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

So, be careful what you plant now;
it will determine what you will reap later.


Thank you Cousin Sharon from Placentia.

Trying To Put My Head Around a Billion Dollars

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

The numbers being thrown around on the news these days are mind-boggling. Most of us can’t put a handle on the spending that goes on in the Federal Government. It is absolutely immense.

As an exercise, I decided to estimate my lifetime earnings and compare it to a billion dollars. I began working at age eleven and didn’t stop until I was seventy. That is a cool fifty-nine years of making money.  In the beginning my salary was modest compared to today’s standards. At graduation from college, my starting salary was $6800/year. My jobs were always good paying ones and I never complained about how much I made. Engineering paid well during my career. I estimate that I earned two million dollars over that fifty-nine year period (If only I had that 2 mil in my 401K today). Before you think of me as a hyper millionaire think about that. The 2 million over fifty-nine years averages out as $33,898 per year. I also estimate that I paid taxes of around four hundred and twenty thousand dollars over those same years.

Where am I going with this? I’m trying to put my head around a billion dollars.  It takes five hundred above average people, just like me, fifty-nine years to earn a billion dollars. Yet, we see the Feds throwing billions around like a billion was chump change. Now ramp that number up to a trillion, and it takes 500,000 people fifty-nine years to earn that much.

I still can't get the size of the number into my head

Last week, we learned that 289,000 federal workers collectively owe 3.4 billion dollars in taxes ($11,764 average per person).  That is not trivial. It seems to me the Chief Executive who continues to harp on us to pay more should put some executive pressure on the people who work directly for him. Well, you argue, they have the same rights as the rest of us, and must be treated under the same rules. I’m here to tell you that the IRS challenged one of my returns because I failed to claim  $2000 of income on one return, and they did it within two months after I filed. They also expected me to resolve things within thirty days or be faced with further audit. The difference between me, and federal workers is they know the administration will not go after them. They are the privileged. All it would take is one phone call from the BOSS to the head of the IRS and his wish would become their command. Why isn’t it happening?

It is not happening because the hype about taxing the rich has nothing to do with needing money, it is about exerting power and demonizing the “rich.”

Since the economy took a dump in 2008, I have personally cut my expenses by twenty percent. I feel that is not enough, and I am looking for more ways to economize because my 401K is shrinking fast.

My attitude was that I couldn’t afford not to have something because I am old and may not live to enjoy it. Now, my attitude is keep the nest egg, because if the economy collapses and inflation hits, I will be standing in the soup line with everyone else.

Let the government cut twenty percent before they begin squeezing us for more. If we don’t nag our representatives to cut spending and to do their jobs how in the world will we ever get this monster under control?