In a world that values people based on what they own it is easy to lose sight of what true wealth is. Some of the best times that I have had in life have been on holiday, not in five star hotels, but in almost rustic self-catering places where the focus is on enjoying time with those that you love.
I think that the reason for this is that when all the unnecessary clutter is removed from our daily routine we are able to “see the woods for the trees” and grasp what is in front of us each day, we often fail to see that our interpersonal relationships are our true riches.
Having recently read an inspiring book “Three Cups of Tea” (based on true events) the protagonist in the book, Greg Mortimer, builds schools for the rural tribes in northern Pakistan. He is of the opinion that the lessons that the West could learn from these seemingly primitive (by Western standards)people about contentment, working together towards a common goal and enjoying the simple pleasures of life far outweigh what the “civilised” world could teach these tribes about increasing financial wealth and utilisation of resources.
This is also seen in modern families where two working parents continually feel stressed by increasing pressure to not only provide the necessities for their family such as food, shelter, education and medical care, but to “keep up with the Jones’” in terms of material possessions.
Children place far greater value on time and experiences shared than they do on the latest “gizmo”, but when you are tired and have had a long day pleasing everyone else it seems easier to give in than give. Choosing to take time out, switch off your phone and laptop, avoid the TV and take a walk or have a picnic with family and friends would have a far better outcome, not only in the short term.
Material wealth cannot be taken with you when you depart this life, but memories, teaching worthwhile values and treasuring relationships with your family mean that “to live on in the hearts left behind means to not die.”
Create a living legacy by prioritising true wealth – invest time and energy in those that you love. It is like throwing a stone into a pond, the ripples can be seen for generations to come.