Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I have received mixed messages about wealth all my life:

  • It's something to aspire to.
  • It's not what life is all about.
  • It's something that can make you unhappy.
  • It's something that makes your life much easier.
  • It's not a bad thing in and of itself.
  • You should amass it and pass it onto your children.
  • You should give it all away and live frugally and humbly.li>You need to stay focused so you can get it and keep it.
  • You shouldn't obsess over it.
  • It's not having the wealth that is bad; it's what you do with it that counts.

With all of these contradictory messages, what do I really think about wealth?

I secretly covet wealth. I daydream about what wealth could bring into my life:

  • better medical care
  • the latest gadgets
  • a more spacious place to live
  • a more generous spirit
  • freedom from worry about my financial future

When I finish indulging this fantasy, I am back
to my every day life. Recently, I wrote to the agent who manages my apartment: "I love living here."

My apartment is small. I do not have a dish washer. I do not even have enough counter space to keep my microwave in the kitchen. I cut vegetables at the table which is outside of the kitchen. I let dishes pile up in the sink and struggle to fit them all in the dish drainer. I have piles of possessions stacked about my bedroom in no particular order. And yet, I love my apartment and where it is located.

As I write this, the clouds have been moving about. Working at my standing desk to write this, I am alternatively standing in shadow and light. Nature reflects my engagement with wealth.

My satisfaction with my relationship with wealth is my attitude. If I think I lack wealth and I am financially hard-pressed, I am unhappy. If I think what I have is sufficient, I can live each day happily.

And isn't that one of the reasons to have, or not have, wealth: to be happy?

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