I have contemplated and written about many things we usually think of as wealth, and some we don’t. Those contemplations have not felt complete, Wealth would mean “stuff”e.g. money, houses, cars, clothes, food, mobility, etc., but this idea of personal wealth has not felt like a complete answer to what wealth truly is. These dreams of material wealth are pleasant and stimulating but did not ultimately feel satisfying to me.
My more complete answer to what true wealth is, became larger in scope, much larger. It has become clear to me why I could not consider myself wealthy, no matter how much physical comfort, safety or freedom of expression I had, while children starve. Why I could not consider myself wealthy if I am safe and secure and free, and others are battered and imprisoned by violence. Why I could not consider myself wealthy to have secured my personal spiritual peace while others suffer on in separation from theirs. I have come to realize that true wealth is only mine when I am wealthy and I am doing all that is within my power to make sure that YOU ARE ALSO.
The addled notion of what I call the “individualists”-that we can attain true wealth individually- is flawed. This idea is what continues to drive the degenerate boom and bust economic system of the entire world. The seductive idea of separated personal wealth justifies all kinds of attempts to control others to get it. Gaining at someone else’s expense is seen as the norm and codified into business law all over the globe.
I am not suggesting some “communal” shared pot of wealth is the answer, which would entail concommitent struggling to make it all fairly distributed. Leveling wealth to a lowest common denominator, where we can all be miserable together surely won’t make us feel wealthy either. Many religions and cultures have promoted the idea that I should suffer and give away all “my” stuff to help the “poor”, etc. That one’s not a pretty picture, (and why it wasn’t too popular a path, I’m sure). I do not make the world wealthy by making myself poor. Sharing poverty, does not put an end to anyone’s suffering. It increases it by adding mine.
True wealth for me simply means that whatever I have that is pleasant and good, I desire others to have as well. It’s that simple. And this is not just a passive wishing but an active desire that causes me to use my tools of prosperity to pursue that goal for the rest of my brothers and sisters on this planet.
Bill Gates has a lot of money. But he will not be truly wealthy until he is using it to help everyone else get what he has. No matter how much money he funnels into this or that “charity” or foundation, he will not attain true wealth until he is funneling it back into your pockets and mine.
True wealth is not an individuated commodity. It is prosperity shared by everyone. The limited, fear based economy the world is currently suffering from is based on separation in so many areas; separation from each other, separation from compassion and separation from Spirit, (however that is defined by you) to name just a few.
True wealth includes compassion. To be truly wealthy means “I’ve got mine,” and “I’m helping you get yours too.“ It means taking part in the creation of a world where everyone has enough, and lots and lots to spare. A world where you are compassionately assisting in creating nothing less than an economic heaven on earth for everyone.