I live in a nice house.
It’s located in a neighborhood filled with SUVs and white picket fences, in a town with great schools and all the comfort and convenience of life in middle-class America.
I’ve got more space than I need.
I’ve got more things than I need.
My heater is running. My television is on in the background, as I write from my laptop. My wife is making dinner from a kitchen stocked with modern appliances and clean, running water. Our bills are paid and sometimes, there’s even a little left over.
If you can say the same, then congratulations. You join me among the world’s top 8% most wealthy people, even those of us who are going through hard times.
When we take time to truly consider our blessings, these few alone will inspire gratitude in us. And yet it’s just the beginning – we could each make a list a mile long. And even in the wake of so much, we struggle to feel satisfied. We fight urges to compare and complain. We wrestle with feelings of jealousy and failure.
Why is that? It’s simple really.
Life has taught us well that food in the fridge, a roof over your head and spare change in your pocket can make you wealthy – but they will never make you rich.
You can’t assess your true wealth by looking at your checking account or your 401k. You can’t consider what’s floating up on the surface of your life, even when that’s what everyone else is doing.
You’ve gotta dig deeper.
It’s the time you laughed so hard it hurt, but you couldn’t stop and didn’t want to.
It’s having a few great friends, and that one friend you can tell your secrets without fear of judgement or betrayal.
It’s the love of your mother, the pride of your father,
Or someone who cares about you enough to stand in their place.
It’s the smile on your kid’s face when you come home at night,
It’s bedtime stories and ballgames, school plays and graduation.
It’s finding true love when you thought it had passed you by.
It’s date nights, long talks, and getting through the hard days,
It’s a healthy body and a heart that’s still beating strong,
It’s the phone call from your doctor saying the test in clear.
Or the hand on your shoulder saying, “We’ll get through this together”.
It’s the picture frozen in your mind of the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen,
The memory of the best day of your life,
And a hundred more that rival it.
Yes. In the world’s terms, anyone who has the ability to read this post is wealthy. And for that, there’s good reason to give thanks this week. But a rich life isn’t about money, stuff, or status…and it certainly won’t be found in the pursuit of those things. What makes us rich is hidden away in the ordinary moments we barrel through in search of the extraordinary ones.
You are wealthy in ways the rest of the world can’t even imagine. And you’re rich in ways many people long for.