Startled into our own wealth

Photo Credit Toban Black

Photo Credit Toban Black

“No matter how much or how little money you have flowing through your life, when you direct that flow with soulful purpose, you feel wealthy.” —Lynne Twist

How much time do you spend fretting about things you don’t have?

A renovated kitchen, maybe? A new car to replace your aging Chevy? How about a bigger TV for the family room?

How much time do you spend celebrating the things you already have?

The running water in that kitchen? The freedom to go anywhere anytime in your aging Chevy? The family time together in front of your smaller TV?

Have you ever been startled into your own wealth?

I have.

It happened in Canada when I volunteered at the school in my neighbourhood and saw hungry children arrive in the morning. Their families either did not have adequate food for breakfast or adequate life tools to know how to provide stable family support.

It happened in Mexico when I sat across the table from a woman in her 20s who learned to read and write in Spanish along with me. When she was a child, her family did not have the money to send her to school.

It happened in Bolivia when I worked alongside a family to build a modest home. Their entire house would have fit in half of mine, but they overflowed with gratitude for their improved living conditions.

It happened when I arrived home from both of those trips and turned on my taps and drank clean, cold water right then and there, standing at my kitchen sink.

By some standards, I am not wealthy. By other standards, I am rich beyond all imaginings. Most of us in Canada fit into that category. We don’t drive Ferraris or own luxury beach houses in Malibu, but we have comfortable homes, adequate food, education and clean water. Hoozah!

If you take a moment to look around, you might find yourself startled into your own wealth.

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

I lived on the shady side of the
road and watched my neighbours’
gardens across the way reveling
in the sunshine.

I felt I was poor, and from door
to door went with my hunger.

The more they gave me from
their careless abundance the
more I became aware of my
beggar’s bowl.

Till one morning I awoke from my
sleep at the sudden opening of
my door, and you came and
asked for alms.

In despair I broke the lid of my
chest open and was startled into
finding my own wealth.


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on October 18, 2013, in good faith, How do you define success?, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, outreach, quote, taking care of our planet and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for the reminder Arlene. Counting our blessings is so important.

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