"I don't know," the younger of the two men says. "I thought I'd be happier at this stage in my life."
"What's the problem?" the older man sitting across from him asks. "You've already made all the money you're ever going to need."
"Yeah," the younger man says sadly. "But being rich isn't all I thought it was cracked up to be."
"It never is."
There's a long pause. Finally the younger man says. "My wife's upset that we don't have children. The doctors say we probably can't."
"How old's your wife?"
"The same age."
"Did you think about adopting?"
"My wife doesn't want to raise somebody else's children."
The older of the two men, a grey haired successful looking type, purses his lips and thinks about what he's going to say next. "Listen," the older man says. "So you may never have children. What does that mean for you?"
"I don't know," the younger man says.
"Are you, like, big into carrying on the family name?"
"My parents are dead. My sister has children. So……"
"Will it kill you not to have kids?"
The older man leans back in his chair. After a long pause he says, "Sometimes you have to exploit the negatives in your life. That may be how you have to look at this."
"Exploit the negative?" the younger man asks.
"You and your wife probably can't have children of your own and you don't want to adopt. Some people would say that's a negative, right?"
"But not having children means you and your wife are free to do other things. You can travel, explore business opportunities, go to school – you're not tied down. There's a positive side to not having kids."
"That sounds kind of cynical."
"Not at all," the older man says. "I have three girls. I love them to death. They've given me a bunch of grandchildren I adore. But any parent, if they're honest, will tell you that there are negatives to having children."
"You wouldn't do it over again?"
"I wouldn't change a thing," the older man says. "But that's the way my life worked out. Your life may be different. Are you comparing your life to other peoples? People with kids?"
"Your life may not work out the same way. And if you don't live your life as it really is — you're heading for trouble."
"All I'm saying is this," the older man says. "You have to look at the empty spaces in your life, see the possibilities, and turn them into opportunities."
"So you won't have kids," the older man continues, "But you have a lot of money. Millions. Maybe not having children will give you the time and freedom to use that money to help thousands of kids somewhere. When I was your age I was hustling to pay for braces. I couldn't spare a dime to charity."
"You have a point there," the younger man admits.
"Your life's going to be what it's going to be. But when you're stuck my advice is to look inside the negative parts of your life for inspiration."
"Lemons into lemonade?" the young man says, laughing softly.
"No," the older man says. "If everyone tried following their bliss everyone would be trying to get to the same place at the same time. It'd be a traffic jam. But since no one likes going into the negative there's more room for opportunity – less competition, less traffic."
"I think I see what you're talking about," the younger man says.
i found this on some random person's blog, and i kinda liked it. i like it when you can take the seemingly negative things and turn them into positive things. what can i say, i'm an optimist. i look for the good, the silver lining. it's what i do.