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The Ultimate gift

Updated on December 28, 2014

The Ultimate Gift

Red Stevens has a problem. He's dead! But that's not the problem, he's gone from this world, but before he departed he had the chance to look at the lives of those he loves. And he didn't like what he saw.

Rich beyond what most of us could ever imagine he'd been able to indulge those he loved thinking that money and gifts would buy everything and they could overlook his many faults. Too late he realized that wasn't the case.

All those years of building an empire for those who come after him are about to come crashing down as an ungrateful family take over and ruin everything that he's built. How sad would it feel knowing that those you love hate you and want you out of the way so they can throw away what you've built?

Red's not one to sit back and take things lightly. He's decided to do something about it and to rescue what little of the family there is left.

My encounter with Red

I first came across red a few years ago when I read the book 'The Ultimate Gift' by Jim Stovall a few years ago and it's always stuck with me, but last night we finally sat and watched the movie that's been made from the book and that's what made me write this Hub.

The book opens with the news of Red's passing being given to his best friend and Lawyer Theodore Hamilton and the unwelcome task he has of assembling calling the family vultures to the feast that would be the reading of the will and the breaking up of Red's life's work. But red knew what the family were like, he was inadvertently responsible for making them into what they'd become, and he regretted it, they hated him yet were willing to use his billions for themselves.

Slowly the will is read and each one seems to get what they want, yet at the same time Red has built into the will a means protects the companies from the vultures. They get everything yet they get nothing of substance. Each one leaves the room after the part of the will is read detailing what they got, yet they don't see what Red has done in protecting them from themselves.

Lastly there's just one left in the room. Jason the great nephew. Sullen and angry at seemingly getting nothing he lets fly as soon as they're alone in the room.

Jason didn't know it but he was the one that Red saw there was a glimmer of hope for and the rest of the will is read out, it's no ordinary will and for Jason, well he's got a big shock coming.

The Will

Isn't really a will but a series of tasks to be completed as the Lawyer lays them out over a period of twelve months. Jason isn't told what the tasks are, just simply that he can back out at any time. Failure to be at the place appointed at the specified time will be taken as indication that he's backed out and will lose whatever was planned for him.

Completion of the tasks will be up to Mr Hamilton each one is to be carried out to his satisfaction.

They start at 7am the following morning.

Pu yourself in Red's shoes, if you had a family member like that what life lessons would you want them to learn?

Is a gift you have to work for really a gift?
Is a gift you have to work for really a gift? | Source

The program

What follows is a twelve step program (I don't want to go into too much detail about as it would spoil it for anyone wanting to read the book) that forces Jason to look at life and the shallow existence he's had so far. There are some surprising 'gifts' in the lessons, some that I can guarantee you never thought of them as gifts but they are and we would be so much poorer without them.

I read the book about ten years ago but it's lessons have stayed with me all that time and next to my Bible I'd say it's a must for all to read. At just 123 pages you'd think that you could read the book in one sitting but it's not a book to be taken lightly and you'll probably want to stop after each of the chapters (there are fifteen) and have a good think about what you just read.

For those 'not really into books' there's also a movie out with James Garner playing 'Red' a must see. I should have done this as a Christmas hub so you could go an buy it but the truth is we treated ourselves to a new TV this year and a friend loaned us the movie which we watched the day after boxing day! Oh Well, enjoy the book

Have a look at the movie

What lessons are important to you?

The book and Movie bring out some surprising 'gifts'. Which ones are important to you? (there are no right or wrong answers)

See results

Reason for the hub

I put this hub together because I watched the movie.It's a movie that almost demands action. It left me wanting to be a better person, wanting to share more of the good, the challenging and the inspirational things in life. If you liked the hub then let me know by leaving a comment below. I've put links to where you can get the book or DVD if you want to but that's up to you.

Happy new year


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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      But a happy crying!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i didn't this movie either but if i had watched it, i would be crying a bucket

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thanks for the comment. Actually I think the Book and Movie should both carry government health warnings that say "Warning, this product is about the change your life" No, seriously I think you'd really enjoy it and the Movie is actually as good as the book.

      By the way thanks for the Angels (in advance)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      I have not read this but will now have to get a copy have made me curious. It sounds like something that we be of interest to me.

      Thanks for the heads up

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A friend gave the book to me as a gift and I was told to pass it on after finishing it and tell that person to do the same. I gave it to my son to read and told him to pass it on.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I didn't know about the movie either until my wife borrowed it from a friend definitely worth watching

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Lawrence, I have read the book also about 10 years ago and you are right it has probably also had the most effect on my life outside of the Bible and about the equal of another by Tolstoy.

      It is an incredible reading and learning experience and I think I read it in three sittings. I would love to see the movie (i didn't know there was one) and James Garner playing Red is just a plus. Voted up.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Glad you liked it

    • bigj1969 profile image

      John Marshall 2 years ago from glasgow

      Fantastic hub,really enjoyed reading it.