Home » Blogs » Polishing the Fragments » The Big Picture

The Big Picture

“What profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his very soul?” God

Life seems like we are just a bunch of rats caught in some complex maze. Not only are we racing around trying to find the elusive piece of cheese we are also constantly jumping through hopes. But what about the big picture? 

death photoI recall seeing a bumper sticker in Hoboken thirty years ago. It read, “He who has the most toys in the end wins”. I am reminded that the Bible says that we cannot serve two masters, that we will love one and hate the other. We cannot serve God and mammon. Of all the things that compete with God, pride, sexual lusts, and so forth, the Bible picked mammon as the chief competitor. So many people live their lives in a pursuit of material gain.

It is a conscious choice we all make as to what we will pursue in life. Some people chase money and others the finer things in life, like family, friends, and helping others. My dad was a very materialistic person who loved money. As a PhD he was very arrogant and thought he was an expert on every subject. He joked about when he died he would find the answer to man’s greatest secret.

Well fast forward to the point where my dad had emergency surgery for his stomach. My wife, sister and I were waiting in the hospital for the results. The doctor came in and said that he couldn’t remove the caner. Furthermore the cancer was blocking my dad’s colon so he couldn’t defecate. At best he had only a couple of weeks to live.

I recall being in the hospital room with him when I said “Dad maybe  you had better start getting ready for the next life.” He gave me a sharp rebuke saying “I’m to busy trying to figure out some way to live.”

My dad had hospice help. Usually they only give you water intravenously but at my dad’s request they gave him nutrients as well. This probably extended his life several days. My wife and I visited him every single day. Sylvia said she had never seen anybody look so scared in her entire life. Finally the day before  Christmas my dad wanted the Catholic priest to come. This is the man who only set foot into church for funerals and weddings. Gone were his bold boasts about some mission of discovery. The man was terrified.

Well the priest came over right away which I thought was extremely nice. It was around  Christmas time and Sunday so I know he was extremely busy. He came spoke a few words, gave my dad the last rites and said a final prayer. My dad died several days later.

Death might be the hardest thing we as human beings must face. Death is the great equalizer as everybody rich or poor must walk that way, none are exempt.

I wrote some words for my dad. I tried to write something true but also complimentary. Writing the poem unlocked my desire to write and I write very prolifically now.

In Memory of My Dad

John Kaniecki

I have passed this way
My time was yesterday
I leave behind this world
Hoping better for you
Than that I received
I wish you love
What I believed
Is testified in my life
In all that I have done
I do not wish to be grieved
I only wish you love.

In the end all the material possessions in the world really don’t profit a person anything. Maybe if we lived as we were dying things would be much better on this planet.

Please look at my book “The Lost Cantos Of John Kaniecki”

The Big Picture

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). The Big Picture. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from


Last updated: 13 Jan 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jan 2018
Published on All rights reserved.