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“What’s Really Important? It’s Not Money!”

Post by Rich on April 1, 2011 in Rich Christiansen

At 4:17 in the morning on Friday March 11 my wife and I were awoken by a phone call informing us that Tokyo had just been hit with an 8.9 earthquake. Indeed this was very concerning to me in that I have many friends and many contacts in Japan. However, the death knell was my 20 year old son John Christiansen is presently serving an LDS mission and is located in Tokyo. My wife and I were fixated to the TV as we watched the horrors of the aftermath of the earthquake unfold, including a 30 foot wave tsunami hitting the shore of Japan. The anxiety increased through the day, and I was rendered almost useless as I was attempting to carry on and function in my business capacities while keeping a close eye on what was going on in Japan. No word, no information from my son was received as the hours progressed.

I have a dear friend in Tokyo named Takahiro Abe who works for Mitsubishi Electric right near the Presidential Palace. Takahiro Abe had instantly reached out to me wondering, “what’s the status of your son? What can I do to help?” I was deeply moved to find out that Takahiro  had come out into the street right next to Tokyo Station, and after he had secured the location and safety of his own family, he was doing everything in his capacity despite complete mayhem around him to scurry around to make every phone call and to reach out attempting to locate my son.
John Christiansen

I was scheduled to do a presentation that afternoon, and literally two or three minutes before I went in front of the audience, I received the following text from my son.

JAPAN JOHN

Parents. this is john. an 7.0 Earthquake struck japan. all of our missionaries are reported in. the president told us to email from text because power and the trains are shut off.
i am ok. alot of miracles kept us safe. right now nagoya  mission looks pretty bad. the president told us to buy store of food. me and my comp are in a place far from the sea so the tsunamis and mud slides are far away. we are ok. ill email more when i can. i LOVE you.
愛してるよ!

ELDER Christiansen

As I came onto the stage, emotion rushed me and I couldn’t help but share what’s most important in life.

The comment from my mentor and great advisor Dr. Peter Horne is the statement that summarizes this. It’s simply this. We can replace anything in this life. We can replace money, we can replace jobs, we can replace cars. We can replace anything in life, but we can’t replace our family, we can’t replace our trust relationships, and we can’t replace our health.

Through our business and corporate careers, our entrepreneurship endeavors, don’t lose sight of this fact. If we sacrifice the things that are most important to us, we’ve missed the entire purpose for doing it.

With emotions still very fresh and close to the surface, I’m now very pleased to inform you that my son John is indeed safe. He’s well. They’ve transferred him, and he arrived in  Fukuoka yesterday.   This experience reiterated to me the most important things in life.

We can replace anything in this life. We can replace money, we can replace jobs, we can replace cars. We can replace anything in life, but we can’t replace our family, we can’t replace our trust relationships, and we can’t replace our health.

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