cheaper by the dozen

After Holly died and I was alone, I made a conscious decision that I was never going to become a lonely old man.

At the time—and because it was so soon after Holly’s last illness—I imagined what it would be like to be sick and dying without anyone being there to support me as I had supported her, and it was this horrific vision that first motivated my decision. But now that so much time has passed, I realize that this vision was a false fear.

No, the greater horror would have been living alone—but I couldn’t have known that at the time because I had not yet begun creating my fictive kin family and could not have imagined what it has become to me today. There is not a week that goes by that I do not hear from at least two or more of my kids. Even though I live a solitary existence at Estrella Vista, the abundance of love that fills my life crowds out any potential feelings of loneliness. I am blessed beyond all expectations.

(The funny thing is, I now expect that when death does come I will be here alone, but that does not concern me at all. I need no one here to hold my hand; in fact, I think I prefer that I should be alone when the time comes. I hope it will be a surprise at a time quite distant from now because there is so much yet to do, and life in the meantime is so satisfactory because of the richness of my family relationships.)

A couple days ago a reader wrote and said that she envied me for the number of friendships and mentors in my life, and I have been thinking about this ever since. I want to say that far from being an object of envy, I would prefer being seen as an example of a very ordinary person who has discovered the key to creating an extraordinarily happy life. And the key is this: there is no limitation on the amount of love you can project onto others.

The one thing every person in the world most values is being singled out from all the other people in the world and being loved. We all go through life having been conditioned to the idea of scarcity in all things—there never seems to be enough time, money, resources, etc. to satisfy us. There are way too many people who live their lives without a sense of being loved enough or even being loveable.

Well, this is what I have figured out—and I have done it through the process of creating my fictive kin family. Love is the most valued coin of the realm, but it is scarce only if you’re on the receiving end of a transaction. If you’re on the giving end, the law of scarcity does not apply. Each of us has within us a boundless capacity for projecting love onto others—an unlimited expense account!

When I started out creating my family, I mistakenly believed that I could only love one or two extra kids and I would be all spent out. But over time I kept taking more young people into my life and I found to my great surprise that my account was never overdrawn. The more love I gave, the more I got back. There are now over a dozen kids in my life and there is no end in sight.

Now admittedly I am not paying money for their room, board, and tuition. There the laws of scarcity would apply. But we are not talking about money or any material resources—we’re talking about love. And there is no limitation on that as far as I’ve been able to discover.

I’m rich. Romney rich. Rockefeller rich. Rothschild rich. I’ve been sitting on a huge inheritance all my life and never realized it. You have, too.

Go on a spending spree. Spread your love around. Don’t scrimp. You will be amazed at your return on investment.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to The Beatles performing “All You Need Is Love”


6 Responses to “cheaper by the dozen”

  1. 1 £ance
    January 26, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Hey Dan, here we go again. This is just a magnificent post. When our “little mate” Alex said that he considers us over here in the Antipodes “his Aussie Family”, that just blew us (and me, particularly) away. Mate, we all consider YOU “family” since we have connected. As I say to James “you are not alone”. We all over here consider ourselves blessed for getting to know you and also contributing something positive (in our own small way) to what you are trying to do for these young folk. Just take care mate and look after yourself. I look forward (God willing) to the time when I can get over the seas and visit you in what to my mind is a wonderful thing you are setting up at Estrella Vista (I hope that I have spelled it right). As always, Cheers and “without wax”. £ance.

  2. January 26, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Beautiful post Dan, I myself consider blessed to have find this blog, it was so refreshing after so much hate spilled around the net. You become an inspiration with your dedication and provided all the help you could give to others and that’s something to admire. You will never be alone Dan. Take care. love. Gloria

  3. 3 Angie
    January 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I’m so happy for you!

  4. January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Bravo Danny – LOVE is th answer – i love the metaphor of the bank account never being overdrawn. Here’s a
    deposit from out here on the plains of South Dakota – i Love you & Like you

  5. 5 Julianne
    January 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks for this post. It reminded me of a story from my childhood. I found the story on the internet, and it’s available in over a dozen different languages. Here’s a link to the English version http://www.claudesteiner.com/fuzzy.htm Links for the other languages are on this page, too.

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