Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Does It Mean To Be Rich?

What does it mean to be rich?  Rich is not about money although having money makes misery more tolerable. When I was growing up I was poor compared to most of my friends. However, I didn’t think of myself as poor. I just thought of them as rich. I now realize how much my parents struggled to raise six children on one income. In their struggle they did a very good job. Compared to my parents I am very rich materially. I have a very comfortable lifestyle. This is mostly due to staying married, very little unemployment, and two steady incomes for 37 years. My wife also inherited some money so being lucky and being blessed doesn’t hurt. Although I like all my “stuff”, none of it really makes me happy. What things do is distract me so I can avoid dealing with some of my feelings.  In my old age I have come to believe that what really makes a person “rich” is love. It’s not how much stuff you have. Of course, love is a tricky thing. I think most people have someone, or multiple people, who love them. What many people seem to not have is the sense that they are loved. What I am saying is that I think there is a lot of love floating around but a lot of people aren’t “feeling the love” or getting the love they need. Ultimate happiness, or feeling “rich”, is when you have a sense of contentment in your life, you have the basic necessities for living, and you are getting the love you need.

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