January 4, 2007, - 1:11 pm

Tragic: You Can’t Take it With You

By Debbie Schlussel
The death of Garry Betty, Tuesday, is proof that you can be extremely successful, make millions, and die tomorrow, without fully enjoying it or life.
Betty, the CEO of Earthlink, grew the company to what it is today–taking it from 500,000 subscribers in 1996 to 5.3 million, today, and billions in revenue. He won many awards, sat on corporate boards, and made mutli-millions. He was once the youngest CEO a New York Stock Exchange-listed company. Betty was the American success story.
Sadly, Betty died of complications from cancer at the relatively young age of 49.
Of specific note, Betty donated money to and was working on forming a foundation focusing on the use of adult stem cells to cure cancer, the New York Times reported.


Garry Betty, Earthlink CEO, RIP

He was an avid collector of books. He owned 3,500 first editions and first printings, many of them science fiction and fantasy, and about 10,000 pulp magazines. But he probably never got a chance to relax and enjoy them.
Betty took medical leave from the company in November when he learned of his illness. And learned that life is short.
And that you can’t take it–the millions or the book collection–with you. Remember, it can all be over tomorrow. The politics of envy aside, the angel of death does not distinguish between young millionaires and people of average means.
Garry Betty, Rest in Peace.

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3 Responses

It is interesting that you write about this subject, Debbie. Such as people who win the Lotto and either lose everything later for whatever reason or die without enjoying a penny.
You can be rich, but the question is:
If you have all what your heart desires, will you still be happy?
Not necessarily.
Read what Benjamin Franklin says:
“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it.
There is nothing in its nature to produce
happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants.
Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”
True words indeed.
Now let’s see what the Bible says:
1 – The earth is the LORD’S and all it holds, the world and those who live there. (Psalm 24, 1)
2 – No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Luke 16, 13)
3 – Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19, 8-10)
4 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 21, 23)
No truer words were ever spoken.

Independent Conservative on January 4, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Its true. You never see a uhaul trailer behind the hearse heading for the cemetery. And no one promised me another 5 minutes on this earth. Wealthy or not, dissatisfaction with mate, home, vehicle, profession, whatever…leads to wanting more, better and/or different, ultimately ruining peace of mind and any joy available to us.
I only hope Mr. Betty knew better.

icanplainlysee on January 4, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Nice reminder Debbie. We need to each live today as though this could be the last one we will have. First that means to be sure we are ready to meet the Almighty TODAY as we will each give an account for our lives in the judgment–not the most popular topic–but the most important. Second it means to make sure we live rightly toward/with all people–to have love and respect for all people including our enemies–last of all to make sure we do our utmost to show our loved ones that we love them making the most of each opportunity. With these things in mind–I am fond of saying, “the day I die will be THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE.”
Ecclesiastes 7:1 “…the day of death is better than the day of birth.”
In birth we enter this vale of tears where sin is present and many things which are part of the curse caused by sin reside. In death we leave a fallen world behind to enter an eternal place where we will be with our Maker and where there is no sickness, no tears, no pain, no sorrow–but rather a new glorious day and an etenity with our G-d.

BB on January 5, 2007 at 6:44 am

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