"Rabbi, would you like to invest $3,000 in my son's start-up company?" asked one of my father's congregants in the mid- 1980s.
"Doctor", replied my father, "I appreciate the stock tip, but I believe in
investing in mutual funds, not individual stocks."
Hearing my father's statement, the Doctor left, probably thinking, "Oh well.
Today, it's the 21st century and many, many years since my father was
approached by the Doctor's stock tip. Oh.I almost forgot. that Doctor (whom
my father failed to take the "stock tip" from) was Dr. Dell.Michael Dell's
(of Dell Computer) father. Yes, my father might be a great rabbi.but he's a
lousy stock broker!
To this day, my father vehemently denies the truthfulness of that story;
however, when he states, "This event never happened," I merely add, "Yes,
and 'denial' [de-Nile] is not just a river in Egypt."
Whether you believe my father or not is not really important (in this case).
The important lesson that the story about my father and Dell computer
illustrates is that sometimes one has to take risks. No one gets better in
rehab by staying only in bed; very few get wealthy in the stock market by
"doing nothing." Sure, people often fail; however, people also succeed-- if
one is willing to take a chance.
Recently, my daughter, Shawn, was studying abroad for a semesterin Europe.
She always had dreamed of sky diving in the SwissAlps. Now washer perfect
time. Hearing that Shawn was considering signing up for the"opportunity of jumping out of an airplane at 13,000 feet high" naturally my wife became very nervous. I, too, became very nervous. However, I realized it was a
wonderful "adventure" that would be incredible.
On the day of her jump in Switzerland our daughter called us at 4 AM in
Houston (naturally her mother was nervous and could not sleep). Shawn was
elated, screaming into the phone, "I DID IT...I DID IT...IT WAS THE MOST
EventhoughI had beenvery nervous for Shawn (as I said), I was also so very
proud of her--for taking a chance--a risk. Nobody knows what the future
holds; however, I believe that the key for finding happiness can befound
only by taking some risks. Shawn definitely did that!
By the way, I wonder if given the opportunity, my fatherwould now be willing to listen to another congregant about investing in theircousin's new
Michael Jordan Segal, MSW
*Michael Jordan Segal, *who defied all odds after being shot in the head, is
a husband, father, social worker, freelance author.
Edited by: Lawyer Asad