I’m the type of person that values experiences over material things yet sometimes I think, “Maybe I should get a new car”. I mean, my car is 10 years old with over 100k miles on it. Sometimes I think, “Maybe we should move into a bigger house”. I mean, I bought my house when I was single. Now that I’m married we need more space. And sometimes I think, “I should update my wardrobe”. I mean, a couple new outfits always make a girl feel good. A few minutes pass, sometimes even a few days, but I always come to the realization that those thoughts aren’t mine. These are the messages constantly being fed to us. You know those messages. The commercials during your favorite show, sometimes they’re embedded in your favorite show. Messages constantly telling us if we don’t possess certain things we are not enough. And if we don’t purchase them, it must be because we don’t have the money. And because we are clearly not enough and we didn’t purchase said item(s), we must be poor. Oh, and if we’re poor we’re not worth anyone’s time. Wow.
These messages have shaped our definition of wealth. The well-known and popular definition of wealth is a great amount of money, property and valuable possessions, but it’s also defined as an abundance or profusion of anything; a plentiful amount (dictionary.com). That being said, when someone has a lot of money we call them “wealthy”, but when someone has a lot of anything else we just say they have “a wealth of” something. I have real friends, family that really care about me, I am healthy and in my right mind, and I have time and money available to enjoy my life. These things are very valuable, but I am not referred to as wealthy.
Let’s take the world’s messages with a grain of salt. Yes, we should always work towards making our lives better, but we should choose what better means for our lives (choosing individually). We need to define wealth for ourselves.