Last week I did a post on money as a measuring stick. That started some interesting debate…
John asked, “Can’t you measure your success simply by knowing you’re living your life by the highest principles of spirituality?” Sarah emailed me asking, “How do you measure the self-satisfaction, the joy, the sense of accomplishment, the admiration and love of others?” Bernice brought up the example of a mother staying at home raising her children.
So how do we measure success? And do you need money to be rich?
Many times I’ll be watching or reading an interview with someone famous and they’ll say something like, “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.” And I always think, “You’re a fucking moron then!”
Because I grew up poor, and I definitely know it. I knew the other kids went to cooler places for vacations, got things I couldn’t have, had nicer, newer family cars and lived in bigger homes where four people didn’t have to share one bathroom.
I get that in these interviews these people are trying to convey that they had a loving family and they appreciate the simple things in life. But I still think the answer is kind of disingenuous.
Money in and of itself doesn’t make you rich. But the absence of it makes you poor. Money is important to a prosperous life…
How many kids grow up with poor self-esteem because they have bad teeth that could be corrected with a few thousand dollars of braces?
Do you know how much less war and hatred there would be if all kids could travel abroad at an early age and meet different people and cultures?
How many marriages have broken up because of the stress and arguments over the lack of money?
Kids are dying of AIDS in Africa because their family is too poor to pay for medicine.
Yes prosperity is the free and simple things like sunsets, hugs and spiritual understanding. But it’s simplistic and unrealistic to suggest that money and material things don’t play a part.
Music is part of prosperity. As is dance. And art. But have you seen the price of opera tickets, ballet tickets and art school? Yes you can get a scholarship. Funded by someone who is rich.
I think it is very simple. If you are prosperous, you are:
Two out of three ain’t bad. But it isn’t true prosperity either. I think true prosperity takes all three. What do you think?