Even in times of financial uncertainty, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.
Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
– Henry David Thoreau
- You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
- You didn’t go to sleep outside.
- You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.
- You hardly broke a sweat today.
- You didn’t spend a minute in fear.
- You have access to clean drinking water.
- You have access to medical care.
- You have access to the Internet.
- You can read.
- You have the right to vote.
Some might say you are rich, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.
Photo by: Carfe
Thanks for that! It really made me think. I tend to think of myself as poor, when I really shouldn’t, because we’re all really pretty far from it.
I lose eight of those when I go camping.
i go camping! i’d prefer not to have a home and just one pair of clothes and to break a sweat everyday and go to sleep hungry. those are our basic rights that have been taken away from us. take the weight of the modern world off your shoulders and learn to really survive!
I love it short and to the point, but so true.
Some silly 18 year old- Lee says
Is wealth not written as part of our faith? Are we able to pick the fate of our lives? Is it an option we have to choose where we are born or brought up? Is it not written in our destiny that someone will become rich and famous who grew up dirt poor with absolutely nothing in the Slumps of India?
These continue to live in poverty because they’re parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, had absolutely nothing. Statistics would favor that they are most likely to have nothing as well. Just as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. A dirt poor African mother will give birth to a dirt poor African baby. The cycle is perpetual and never ends.
Anyways, isn’t it wrong to compare? My mother always taught me not to compare myself to others. If people would focus on their own financial status’ instead of others, there would be much more happiness in the world. The race for originality and success would end. Lower class people wouldn’t feel a ‘must’ to go to an expensive prestige college so they can become more successful than everyone around them and later on end up in more debt to pay off college expenses. Upper class people wouldn’t feel a ‘must’ to continuously buy more and more materials and consume the worlds resources. Jealousy and comparison of others are what lead to this battle of intellectual crises.
Wealth is determined on influence by environment and culture. If a homeless American citizen lives on his unkempt mattress and blanket under a bridge in Los Angeles, is he really wealthy compared to a poor African person who lives in a small 5 foot wide shack built of branches and scrap metal and eats a small bowl of food once a day? Wealth is relative to your environment. Many people are experiencing foreclosures and devastating results to this recession. Many families who once used to have a good supporting job with a nice car and house, are now homeless and can barely feed their families. Are these people also wealthy simply because they don’t live in a 3rd world country? Everywhere around the world there is poverty in all shapes and sizes. It cannot be compared as better or worse than other poverty, because a) that would completely contradict the definition of poverty and b) both suffer from lack of needed resources.
People need not to be grateful for their social-economic status or how much they can afford or make. They need to appreciate that they are given a shot at life again another day. People are rich and people are poor for different factors that establish who they are or where they come from. What if we could all appreciate that we are given a chance of being alive in the first place?
Instead of writing articles, traveling to Africa to make a documentary of the life incorporated with poverty. Why not take action instead? People in the United States understand that there are 3rd world countries out there that have nothing in comparison of what the average demographic in the U.S. They watch videos and read blogs and feel sorrow for these people. Why not take action and find something useful to help the whole situation, instead of wasting time explaining a problem that has been analyzed for years.
These people are victims and if you think about it, so we are- to this game called life. It portrays good and bad. Life is tough and for some, tougher than others. But it is all part of a game we have been tested to play.
Money and power can be worthless if people show that it has meaningless influence over them. Just like in the book “Lord of the Flies,” when power, authority, and a value are brought forth, people have more of a reason to be envious and unhappy. Before the power of the ‘conch’ (money) was incorporated, life was at ease. All characters in the story lived in peace. But when this symbol for money was created, everything became corrupt as it gave people the opportunity to ‘speak’ (have more power and authority/jurisdiction over others). Poverty comes from corruption- corruption comes from power and authority- power and authority come from money; if money serves as less of an importance, every crisis or issue in the world could be ‘soothed.’ But we all know money is what makes the world go round ;). So odds of something like this (money have less dependence) are practically at zero.
Problems in 3rd world countries such as these must be recognized by the entire world before a positive difference can be made.
[email protected] says
Thanks for this wise reasons.True, poverty is in the minds of men. Man is equally created, both rich and poor has 24 hours everyday to spend wisely. In fact, even the rich becomes poor if he were not able to use his time/day wisely. There is much more poverty than silver and gold, in fact, a lot of rich people are more troubled, insomiac, uneasy,weak and tormented. Because their money cannot buy peace, joy, love, concern and real friends. That’s why Bill Gates and Waren Buffet are now busy doing charity after discovering a real and worthy capitalism. At least they made it. That is a real prosperity, a passion for the souls. My friend at kamja has a more in-depth reasons why man is living a life more abundantly and how to sustain this life with true richness.
thanks for reminding me, this is beautiful article … simple, but so true
Nick Grimshawe says
Yes love all of them. Sometimes we really do need to think differently about riches. I have met some really poor people who had no idea they where poor, because they saw what was good in their lives and gave thanks.
Nishant Mishra says
Dear Marc, it’s very moving to read this post. I have translated it in Hindi. See it here http://zen-katha.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-post_6261.html I always give you credit of the post. I have also placed a link to your website on my blog.
It’s more like signs than reasons…Great Post tho 😀
Trump Network Marketing says
You are so right. Thank you so much for sharing this message because we forget in our own financial struggles to achieve higher levels, that we already have so much to be grateful for… and that we are indeed rich to begin with. I look forward to more posts!
good point there.
but i believe there are a lot more than just 10.
I know I am indeed rich compared to many in the world, however your list is flawed. Many people do NOT have access to medical care except during major emergencies. I for one do not have any medical care due to lack of ability to pay for medical care and not qualifying for anything.
Good post though.
Perfectly agree .. Ppl mistakenly think they will be rich one day when they will have so and so possessions and bank balance.. the truth is u are rich here and now. I too wrote a post recently on the same topic when one of my friends had read “rich dad,poor dad” and went crazy about money. Here is the link :
Wow… and I take so much for granted!
Trump Network says
You are such a blessing! Thank you for reminding us, an international internet community of how rich we truly are.. There are so many people looking at how to make more money online, and yet, when we come across your blog.. it’s like a slap in the face.. a wake up call! Gratitude is such an awesome feeling and I really appreciate your reminder. “Rich” is only relative, but yet abundance is all around us!
Thank you again for such a profound post!
tanya from College Classes says
So short and simple but yet there’s so much meaning behind it . Just goes to show that we should be thankful for what we have because there are others who are wishing for what we have right now. Thanks!
Luiz Guilherme P. L. says
I think the point is that if some of these 10 reasons can be aplyed to you then you probably have a good startpoint for living a beautiful life. You don’t need to waste your time wishing you are rich.
That’s Awesome 🙂
Mahmudur Rahman says
I believe, there are lots more than 10. If your heart full of love then also you are rich. Thanks for sharing this nice post. 🙂
John Sherry says
I am embarrassed to say all ten apply and yet sometimes I feel something is missing. We think such blessings as trivial when they are the gold at the foundations of our lives. For all the dreams we chase it’s the ones right under our nose we are never awake enough to honour. Consider me reminded, Thank You
Not all of us are so lucky.
>1. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
-Actually, I often go to sleep hungry.
>4. You hardly broke a sweat today.
-True, but only since I lost my job. When I was working, I always came home barely able to stand, and collapsed in bed. I had no time or energy to do anything other than eat, shower, and sleep. Maybe a little bit of reading. Then, at 5am, it was time to wake up, an it would start all over again.
>5. You didn’t spend a minute in fear.
-I spent years living with an abusive parent, and much of that time was spent being afraid.
>6. You have access to clean drinking water.
-I do now. At my previous residence, there was something wrong with the pipes, and the water stank and made me throw up. No one cared.
>7. You have access to medical care.
-I have a doctor. I tell her about my joint pain, and she says there’s nothing she can do. When she does give me a prescription for something, I often can’t afford it.
>8. You have access to the Internet.
-I do now. Again, this is something I didn’t have (except in school) for many years.
I believe having access to the internet means we are wholly rich. Many people in the Third World don’t have access to good technology.
Loved the list………Think twice before you complain…despite having these basic listed luxuries, people still crave for more and more…
I’m 19, and I find it really pathetic when my peers complain about not getting that ‘car’ or having x amount of money or how life “sux”….
Nice thought. But, I don’t agree with point 10. Everyone has right to cast vote. It should be like “you have right to choose right people” or “You have the right to vote for right person”
I could only check off 7 of those things, but I still feel not only rich, but blessed.
I would add not being in bodily/physical pain and
Not facing discrimination of some sort or the other, not being in a mental turmoil for being judged or ridiculed for who you are.. for example gay, lesbian etc. or for speaking out for what you believe in, what you hold to be true in your heart… … though maybe that’s covered by living in fear….
For the ones who are lucky to be not facing the two that is.. i’m sure each of us is facing one or more difficulties in our lives.. maybe some have been listed here, some are not. Still there is much to be grateful for at the end.
I was feeling very low for a good part of the last 2 weeks, coz i had to quit a job i had gone into with a lot of aspirations but it didnt work out. … and then i realized i have parents who have let me come home, who are giving me every kind of moral and financial support and who are with me in my pursuit of fulfillment in life.
I think i am blessed. I think if we have parents in the first place, and secondly parents who care as much as mine do, we are very, very blessed.
I’m feel blessed not because i’m better off than somebody in this regard, but because i know its something i have received without even asking for.
Life can be very depressive if we focus on all that’s gone wrong, that’s not so great, that’s downright pathetic about our lives. But do you really want one of your limited and numbered days on earth to go in lambasting your fate, your self, or your circumstances over it ? Ultimately each day, each hour is an irrecoverable part of the fixed span of time we are getting on earth. I want my batting average to indicate i spent most of my life on a positive note – feeling confident about who i am, and positively affirming myself through difficult, even somewhat hopeless, times. Ultimately life is not about never blowing it up, or never seeing a fire burn down all you’ve got, loved , built or desired – its about being able to take it, and still not lose the belief that yes, you can have it all over again, in a better way than before. And it was all for good. Your good. And who knows, perhaps universal good.
I agree with all of those except number 10 “the right to vote” which has proven altogether irrelevant to my quality of life.
Carmen Rutledge says
Great perspective! Just what I need to read today. Thank you! :o)
Pretty much what AnarchoRationalist said. 10 definitely needs to be something else. Having the right to vote means nothing to me. The list is solid otherwise.
Danny H says
I needed this today. Thanks again!!
Congrats for the post! I took the right to translate this post to Spanish in my blog, I hope you are okay with this.
Jonha | iJustDid.org says
Wow. One only needs to read this post and could potentially do lots of wonders and some might even re-consider taking their lives. You see,it’s the little things we have that we often take for granted.
Here’s what I would always tell myself:
Focusing on what you lack leaves you bitter.
Focusing on what you have makes you feel better.
Steven Fekete says
I really liked this post; short and sweet.
I discussed this article on a recent post that I made on my own blog about volunteering to help starving children in 3rd world countries.
The link to the post is:
Rogerio Alves says
Well, it’s true that we should have a good perspective of our (and I am not american and from one of the “poorest” 1st world countries) position in the world. As I said, even if I live in one of the poorest 1s world country, and belong to its middle-class I am sure that I am one the 5%-10% richest people in the world. That should make one think about their inherent luck.
But, as others wrote, we also live within our own borders (our country, our city, our neighborhood) and we may consider ourselves poor when comparing to those smaller universes – not my case, I suppose, and I am grateful for that. If I didn’t have a car, or I had difficulty paying for its lease, if my house had two rooms or less, or if I was late in my payments, and so on… I could consider myself poor …
Am so glad ive found your blogs..
They sure help me in so many ways.
Keeping me inspired everyday.
I print my favorite posts here and paste it on my
journal(which i bring everyday). And I make it a point that i do at least one thing that i read from here each day and document it in my journal.
Thank you for always reminding me that Life is indeed beautiful and worth living for.
You are in my prayers.
God bless you two!..More power..
Such a well stated article. No need to mince words when you cut it so dry.
The freedoms that many I enjoy here in America are many, and I imagine I take some for granted. Freedoms aren’t free though, as the saying goes.
Now more than ever it seems as though we need more intellectual thinkers to solve this dilema of rampant abuse of political powers.
Governments were never intended to be used as a source of company and individual handouts. Nor was it made to oppress the creativity and ability of people to make exchanges by imposing ridiculous taxes and fees.
The question we face now is, will you learn what the proper role of government is and stand against its misuse? Will you do your part and educate others?
The other problem we face is that of incorrect financial education. Most people think money is real, and that its a scarce resource. Most people never ask what it is or how its made.
Those that do are the ones that become the producers in the world. Producers are the ones that create jobs, not governments. Its the creativity and ingenuity of the individual that the governments should be protecting. Allow people to create value and this whole mess would be fixed.
AlHumdella , we should be grateful of what we already have .. some ppl have nothing !
What a reminder!
A well said advice to remind us to see first what we already have instead of envying our neighbors expensive stuff in their garage….. I am truly rich and blessed!!!!
Thanks. I’m making a film about this and you short inspiring article here really helps.
Beautiful! Thank you!
Lila S says
Heard someone say that if you have a bathroom with running water, and a car, you are in the top 3% of the wealthiest people on the planet. Your post is profound, and we should be thankful for all that we have.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 – no
8, 9 – yes
so am i poor or rich?
To quote Abe Lincoln….A man is about as happy as he makes his mind up to be,
Great article. Gratitude is everything.