Sigmund Wollman's Reality Test
Robert Fulghum

  

It's important that every now and then, we take stock of just what we have in life, just what kinds of benefits and blessings that we have in our lives.  Whether they be material, emotional, spiritual, financial, or based on gifts such as talents and abilities, we all have wealth in our lives.  The wealth that we've been given, of course, is meant for us to share with others--we are here on this planet to benefit other people, to share our love and our blessings with whomever we can while we're here for this very short time.

A half a decade ago, I decided to start teaching in our public school systems because I knew that two of my strongest gifts were knowledge and the ability to teach, and I felt that it was important to use those gifts in the most effective way possible.  While I thought I was doing a pretty good job at the college I was at, the work that I was doing there was benefiting a relative few people, and I knew there was a great need for public school teachers, and not as much of a need for college teachers.

It's not something I would recommend for everyone.  The switch has not come without its share of difficulties and setbacks and frustrations.  But since I consider obstacles to be an important part of life--invaluable learning experiences, actually--those hardships haven't been too hard to get through.  

And they've been necessary, actually, for me to be able to share the wealth that I've been given in life.

I wouldn't suggest that anyone purposely take on huge hardships in order to spread their wealth.  I wouldn't suggest that anyone give away their last dollar when they have no food in the house.  But I do know that the benefits of sharing what we have are amazing, and that only when we do give to others can we get that satisfied and fulfilled feeling inside that tells us that we're actually contributing to this world in a positive way.  For many people, a lack of such a feeling is the source of feelings of despair and hopelessness, and banishing such feelings is extremely important if we hope to be happy while we're here.

Sharing the wealth is very easy.  I can share the wealth by volunteering my time to help others fill a need (I do this by teaching free classes to people in our community who need them).  I can share it by sharing the food I have with others who don't have as much.  I can give encouragement, I can drop my change into the jar at the supermarket, I can give a smile, I can go through my closet and pass on the clothes that I don't wear any longer, I can buy a couple extra bags of groceries for the food bank (after finding out what they can use, of course!), I can spend time reading to a young person or a very old person, I can help with the annual cleanup at the river park, I can spend time listening--without giving any advice--to someone who needs to be heard.

Wealth isn't about money or goods.  Those are forms of wealth, of course, but wealth means so much more.  And in order to share our wealth, it's necessary for us to recognize and acknowledge what we have, first of all.  Do we have our health?  Then we can participate in a walk or run for charity.  Do we have lots of money?  Then we can share it with others who are in need.  Do we have great patience?  Then we can take on a task that demands great patience.  Are we good with kids?  Then we can watch the neighbors' kids while they do something they need to do, or we can volunteer time at the local elementary school.

Wealth is useless unless we use it.  Many rich people are incredibly lonely, with deep feelings of isolation and lack of purpose.  Many talented people are frustrated that they haven't "made it big," while ignoring opportunities to share their wealth in more personal venues.  Many writers feel frustrated that they haven't been able to be published, while the vast Internet out there awaits their contributions to other people's lives.  What are your talents, abilities, and possessions?  How can you share the wealth with which you've been blessed, thus making your life much more fulfilling and interesting and uplifting?  You can have a positive effect on others, but you do need to be willing to share to do so.

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If you're happy, you're wealthy.  Happiness doesn't need a bank account.

Mary Christelle Macaluso

  

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Anything that you learn becomes your wealth, a wealth that cannot be
taken away from you; whether you learn it in a building called school
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and a valuable treasure.  And not all things that you learn are taught to
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C. JoyBell C.

   
 

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