by Rick White

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Wising Up about Wisdom (3 of 12)
Rick White
1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Introduction: Tim Forneris, 22, is a computer analyst who works part time as groundskeeper for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is the one who retrieved Mark McGwire's 62nd home-run ball, and he became famous for turning the ball over to McGwire instead of holding on to it and selling it for an estimated $1 million. Although columnist Daniel Kadlec called this "an honorable gesture," he used Forneris as an example of some poor personal-financial habits. Among Kadlec's pointers was the need to sleep on decisions before you act on them, avoid herd thinking, and treat "found money" seriously. Not surprisingly, Forneris wrote back to the columnist. Here is his thoughtful explanation of his actions:

First of all, despite what Mr. Kadlec wrote in his article, I did not get $5,000 worth of McGwire stuff. I did not ask for any memorabilia and did not receive any. According to Mr. Kadlec, my first sin was the "impulse" decision to give the ball back to Mr. McGwire immediately. But my decision was by no means made on an impulse. I had thought over what I would do if I got a home-run ball, and discussed it with my family and friends.

Also, I can assure you that herd thinking did not influence me. What did influence my actions were my family and my background. I have always been taught to respect others and their accomplishments. I value all people's achievements, big and small. In my opinion, Mr. McGwire deserved not only the home-run record for his work but also this ball. Life is about more than just money. It is about family, friends, and the experiences you have with them.

As for my third financial sin of "easy come, easy go," I believe some possessions are priceless. To put an economic value on Mr. McGwire's hard work and dedication is absurd. Being the person who received the ball was a great blessing to me. And being able to return it to Mr. McGwire was a real honor and ...

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