26 June 2009

A [Very Long] Post on Wealth and Happiness

Hello, my dear, dear friends! How are you - is life treating you well?

I have been meaning to write this [exceptionally long] post for several days now, but every time I sit in front of my computer exhaustion overwhelms me and I can't seem to manage to put my thoughts into any sensible order! But after a nap this afternoon, I feel composed enough to finally put this post together.

Recently, for the first time in my life, I have come into close contact with those who have been incredibly blessed with financial wealth. My mind has exploded with questions: 'What would it be like to be truly wealthy? What is wealth, anyway? Would people treat me differently if I were rich? Would I treat others differently? Is money the only difference between someone who is wealthy and someone who is not, or is there something else as well?'

I looked up the word wealth last night. Merriam-Webster has several definitions, most of them referring to money; the most general definition called wealth 'abundance of valuable material possessions or resources'. I do not agree that being wealthy consists only of material things - one can be rich in experience or rich in love, or one can have a wealth of knowledge.

However, it seems that one of the most valued forms wealth is that of money, and for obvious reasons. Being rich makes life easier; one can buy the things one needs and provide for one's family without worry.

But, unless one is 'born' into money, one must work very hard to live such a life and accumulate the finances to support it - often, I would imagine, at the cost of doing something one truly loves to do.

Now I must make a note that all these thoughts on wealth come from my own place in life, one in which I am longing to do things which earn me little or no money at all; though I am a hard worker, I have little interest in business or sales or the stock market or any other traditional path to great monetary security. Others, I'm sure, have very, very different perspectives and opinions on the subject of wealth and on how money contributes to one's successes in life.

Now I pose a question to you: If you could, which would you choose - happiness and a struggle to make ends meet, or unhappiness and financial security? I suppose that once one was truly rich, one could do most anything they desired, but for the moment and for the sake of argument, let's ignore this fact. Is it important to sacrifice one form of wealth for another? Would you choose wealth of money over wealth of other less tangible things?

Personally, I choose happiness. I choose the experiences, the memories, the family and friends and loved ones. I choose the dreams and the impossibilities, the freedoms and the magic of living an extraordinary life. Yes, I am still young - and yes, I have not yet truly had any of the hard experiences and responsibilities of life; perhaps - no, certainly - my ideals now will change in the future.

I hope for the time being, however, I can firmly stand in this position and live life for all it is worth.

This is a very broad subject with many facets to be explored. I feel that I have only scratched the surface of a very big question - what does it really mean to be happy? I shall continue to explore this in my own life, and shall share my own discoveries as I come upon them.

You, dear readers, are (of course) always welcome to share your own thoughts, ideas, opinions, or musings!
With love,

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