J. Paul Getty’s estate exceeded four billion dollars. He was considered the richest man on earth at the time. The Los Angeles Times quoted something Getty wrote: ‘I have never been given to envy, save for the envy I feel toward those people who have the ability to make a marriage work and endure happily. It’s an art I have never been able to master. My record: five marriages, five divorces. In short, five failures.’
The newspaper article continues: ‘He termed the memories of his relationship with his five sons “painful”. Much of his pain has been passed on with his money. His most treasured offspring, Timothy, a frail child born when Getty was fifty-three, died in 1958 at the age of twelve, of surgical complications after a sickly life, spent mostly separated from his father who was forever away on business. Other members of the Getty family also suffered from tragic circumstances. A grandson, J. Paul Getty III, was kidnapped and held for a ransom of $2.9 million. When Getty refused to pay, they held the boy for five months and eventually cut off his right ear. Getty’s oldest son apparently committed suicide amid strange circumstances. Another son, Gordon Paul Getty, has been described as living a tortured existence. He was ridiculed in correspondence by his father and was the least favoured son. Similar sorrow has followed other members of this unfortunate family.’
Putting money first and family second make you nothing more than a wealthy failure. So if you have been sacrificing your family for your career, start making changes! Don’t look back, rich but regretting, having lived for the wrong things.