I know many people who are quite wealthy; I know very few
people who consider themselves to be wealthy.
Personally, while I know that having more money would
allow me to do more things and have more things, I also
know that I have more possessions, better food, better
access to services that I can afford, and a slew of better
other things, than probably 95% of the people who have
ever lived on this planet. I am incredibly wealthy
in terms of how the human race has lived since its
inception, but if I were to focus on what I don't have and
what I can't do, that wealth would mean very little.
And I've become even more wealthy as I've gotten older and
have fewer wants. I've learned to be satisfied with
very few things, and that satisfaction is much more
valuable to me than any material goods could be.
Most of the things that people are trying to sell us are
out there so that others can make a profit, not because
they're necessary to us. It's difficult in this age
of extensive marketing to hold on to our satisfaction,
when ad after ad tells us we need more to be happy, but it
certainly isn't impossible to do.
If I wake up in the morning and I have plenty to eat--food
that I like, even--and I'm in a safe home, then I'm
wealthy. If I have friends that I can connect with
and spend time with, I'm wealthy. If I have work
that helps me to pay the bills and even go on vacation now
and then, then I'm wealthy. If there are people who
care about me and who actually like to spend time with me,
then I'm wealthy.
The trick is to realize that we are, indeed, wealthy, and
enjoy that fact while we're able to enjoy it. The
universe has given us much wealth, and it's our duty to
respect it and enjoy it rather than consider it to be not
enough to make us happy.