This and your comment about how men connect their worth to their earning power resonate deeply with me. My father was such a man. Fortunately, he earned enough money to retire early--age 55--and has enjoyed nearly 30 years of real "life." I think he presents a perfect example of how dramatically someone can change once they realize their existence is finite.
He came home from a high-stress, major-responsibility corporate position, took off his coat and tie, put on a builder's apron and began constructing, free of charge, homes for low-income handicapped people. In so doing, he shifted his outlook from one of "how can I make a bigger raise this year?" to "how can I help this person in a wheelchair reach his kitchen sink?"
One of the few individuals, male or female, I have ever seen who got the point the Dalai Lama is making soon enough to live it.
Thanks for your post. I'm going to share it with my father and tell him once again how proud I am of him.