Perceptions of Wealth


1. An abundance of valuable possessions or money.
2. The state of being rich; material prosperity.

Wealth is traditionally associated with money and riches. What if that association and perception changed to being wealthy in other areas of life? Areas such as strong lifelong friendships, or a devoted following?

Imagine three households on a long street. The first house is an expansive mansion with iron gates and a large well-maintained garden. Just down this street, the second house is a small, comfortable three bedroom home with a small lawn out front. Still further down this street is a little cottage at the back of a church.

Let us begin at the first house.

The family in this mansion earn huge amounts of money, allowing them to buy anything they want. They have the house, the cars, and all the gadgets. Take-outs, holidays, and all the available cable channels are easily afforded and consumed by this family. The family living here are happy. They know they are financially wealthy, and are grateful they can afford to live the way they do.

But, let us travel down the road to the second house. This household earns just enough in order to provide for their family. There are no optional extras here. No cable. No take-outs. No holidays. They know they’re not financially wealthy, yet they have an extremely strong family bond, as well as enduring life-long friendships. They are happy here too.

Further down the road we come upon the cottage. Here, a religious leader lives behind the church he preaches at. He, too, is not financially wealthy. He does not have a wife or children due to the path he has taken with his religion. There is no tight-knit family bond. Yet, he is happy and content. This religious leader preaches to his congregation regularly and has gathered quite a following. They are devoted to him and his word, and will follow him to the end of the earth.

Each of these homes display the possibility of a different perception of wealth. The first home is the traditional perception, whereby the family is working hard and reaping the financial rewards. Although the second home is not as financially wealthy, could it not be possible that the family is wealthy with strong lifelong relationships? Relationships that will support them during hard times, and revel with them during good times? And the third house. Could it not be possible that this religious leader is wealthy with the following he has gained, who see the vision in the religion he has dedicated his life to?

I believe being wealthy should not be limited to how much money is in your possession. Because we don’t have money, does not mean we cannot be wealthy in other aspects of life. Don’t get me wrong, money can certainly help, but it is by no means the be all and end all of wealthiness.

What do you think?

One Comment

Mind Fuel May 30, 2015 Reply

Ha yeah, similar message to my post. Money not equaling happiness reminds me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, no where on there does it say ‘new sofa’. Material possessions might be pleasurable to buy in the moment but don’t give a sense of lasting fulfilment.

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