“Do not judge by appearances, A rich heart may be under a poor coat.” – Scottish Proverb
What is it that makes You rich? I used to think that being rich was living in the big family home with the “white picket fence“, being married with 2.4 children, 2 “SUV’s” parked in the driveway, a pantry that was always full, at least 1 annual vacation and never having to stress too much about the bills. That used to be my “ideal”. After 2 failed marriages, being retrenched, living in a country where my only “family” support is my son … who is actually dependent on me, and hitting what I would call “my rock bottom” 2 years ago … All of that has changed!
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” Disraeli
I grew up thinking I was so poor, never went on a local holiday never mind an overseas one, never knew what new clothes were like because they were always hand-me-downs, we used newspaper as toilet paper on occasions, we lived on “jacket potatoes”, “beans on toast” and “porridge with jam” as a staple diet, we used to sleep in one bed together to keep warm in winter because we couldn’t afford the heating (all 4 of us – My Mother, 2 sisters and I), we never knew the luxury of even having a television, we got our first one when I was 13 (and I am not that old!). I even remember going to ask the landlord for an extension on the rental payment because we just couldn’t afford it and didn’t want to lose our home.
I remember my Mother praying, crying, doing everything she could just to put food on the table, and as a single parent with 3 children, that was almost impossible. I saw my mother work 18 to 22 hour days, and hold down 3 different jobs at the same time, just to provide for us. I imagined rich, as having money in the bank, with the bills paid for, and a comfortable way of life without the stresses.
I remember thinking my Mother was superwoman, she could do anything, and she did everything for her family. We moved more times than I care to remember, but we always had a home, it was filled with love, and on occasion, lots of laughter … and if I have to measure wealth on that scale, it was when we were the richest we have ever been.
Sometimes you have to lose everything to realise you actually have everything … I have realised that true wealth in life, or at least wealth worth having, is measured by balance and I am not talking about the one in your bank account either. The things that make you rich in life are things that make you, break you, and rebuild you into a person of character. They are the life experiences you have endured, and the people you have met on your journey along the way. I have realised that …
“It’s not status but substance, it’s not possessions but purpose, it’s not finance but foundation, these are the things that make you rich and enable you to live a truly inspired and blessed life.”
Recently, all I am hearing from my loved ones, is that they are sick and tired, sick of fighting for survival, tired of fighting for better jobs, better income, better circumstances, they are sick of being poor, and sick and tired of being sick and tired … I don’t blame them for feeling that way, because I am one of those who was just as fed up, sick of being poor and tired of feeling like a victim of circumstance! Then I gave it some thought, and it hit me …
“Stay strong, stay beautiful, stay rich within your heart”
In all honesty, how many people can say the same? You are unique, You were created for a unique purpose, You were meant to live a beautiful life, an inspired life. When we are able to live for others, do good deeds and serve the best interest of others instead of our own, then I believe we have reached the starting point of building our wealth as an individual. It is not what we receive, or what we already have that matters, it is what we are able to give. At the same time, being a financially secure individual does not mean that you are not a person of worth; it just means that your financial security does not determine your worth as a person, and the value that you contribute to the lives of others.
“Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.” – Thomas Edison
What do we need in order to survive? We need love, we need compassion, we need understanding, but most of all, we need to give, we need to share these qualities with the people we have in our life, just as those people are the ones that enrich our lives simply by being in it. I have often wondered what I will have to leave my son when I pass on, and I now know that I may not have financial wealth, but I will be able to leave him a legacy, a legacy of someone who may not have necessarily succeeded financially, but someone who tried to be the best example for him, and to live a life of love and to give what I can to others, spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.
“The real measure of wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all of your money.” – Author Unknown
Each day brings new challenges, and I only hope I can continue to try to live with love, and be there for others, to encourage, inspire, and simply … Just Be me.
“Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”
- “Pursuit of Happiness” (brianandrekirton.wordpress.com)
- Abundant love. Abundant life. (carolynhughesthehurthealer.wordpress.com)
- Millionaires of Life (lifehasacrushonyou.wordpress.com)
- What is wealth? (elagape.wordpress.com)