“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau
“In the new good life, the point is not to have the most toys, but the most joys.” – John Robbins
I was thumbing through a gourmet cookbook the other day, and the author recommended visiting farm stores to procure the most flavorful, just-picked ingredients.
I glanced out at my garden and felt wealthy.
Here we are harvesting fresh herbs, greens, and eggs every day just a few feet from our back door. The early spring sunshine probably deserves more credit than I do for all of this abundance. But I’ve invested plenty of sweat and love into that soil over the years, and I built something that feels very much like wealth.
When I hear the word wealth, I usually think of stock portfolios, IRAs, and 401Ks – the green stuff.
But when I think about what makes me feel wealthy, my mind jumps to other green stuff: my garden, city parks, wide open spaces, and the neighborhood fig tree that gives and gives and gives.
I also think of my close, connected neighborhood; my friends; and walking and riding my bike every day. I think of my kids and our unhurried mornings reading books, watching snails, and counting spiders’ legs.
Wealth is usually defined as an “abundance of items of economic value or material possessions.” But I wonder if it’s time for us to redefine wealth, at least in our own lives.
I’m not knocking savings accounts, retirement plans, or consumer goods. These things are important; they’re just not the whole story.
When we reflect on what makes us feel wealthy, we expand beyond our culture’s emphasis on property, assets, and commodities. We might think about good health, breathing clean air, living in a safe neighborhood, and having access to fresh produce. We might think about having more time.
And by redefining wealth for ourselves, we can ensure that we’re building the kind of lives and communities that make us feel wealthy. They might look a lot different than the ones we see on advertisements and on TV.We can build lives and communities that make us feel wealthy.Click To Tweet
If you liked this post, you may enjoy these:
- Can Money Buy Happiness?
- Making Economic Exchange a Loving Human Interaction
- Ditch the Life Coach and Do the Daily Chores
- Should Towns Print Their Own Cash?
What makes you feel wealthy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.