The More You Give Love Away, the More You Get”
I’d like to end with my absolute favorite Buffett quote. His late wife, Susan, was a famously kind and loving person, and he has often said that marrying her was the most important decision he ever made. When Susan had cancer, he visited her in a hospital in San Francisco, then flew to Georgia to speak with a class of college students. According to Alice Schroeder’s book, The Snowball, the students asked him about his greatest success and his greatest failure.
Mr. Buffett replied: “When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.
“That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it. You can buy sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. You can buy pamphlets that say how wonderful you are. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.”