How wealthy are you?
Before you answer with a dollar figure or a list of your assets, let me tell you a story. It’s about a wealthy father who wanted to teach his son a lesson about gratitude. To show his son just how poor other people could be, he arranged for him to spend some time in the country with a family who lived in an old, drafty farmhouse.
When the son came home a few days later, the father asked him, “Did you learn something about what it means to be poor?”
The son responded, “I sure did. I learned just how poor we are. We have one dog. They have four. We have a big swimming pool in the backyard. They have a creek that runs for miles. We have electricity to light up our property. They have stars that fill the whole sky. We buy our food in cellophane packages. They grow their own. Walls surround our property, keeping other people out and keeping us in. Their front door opens to fields that stretch from one horizon to the other. We have servants to take care of us, but they serve each other.”
The son was absolutely right. Material wealth is something, but it’s not everything. Most of us live at a level of comfort that past generations could only dream about. But our luxury costs us in ways that can’t be measured in dollar signs. Wealth isn’t just about having a lot of money in the bank. It’s about understanding the difference between making good money … and making a good life.