Gee: What does it really mean to be truly wealthy?
We don’t compare experiences in the same way that we compare things.
You can buy a big house today, and there’s always going to be someone who says so-and-so’s house is bigger, or it costs more, or it’s on the beach.
Buying a new car? Great! But pretty soon someone will be quick to tell you that they have the next year’s model, or theirs has this-or-that, which your car doesn’t.
As someone who has seen a few young men go from zero to millionaire, I have watched some chase material things, just for the sake of one upping someone else.
Where is the value in that?
This past week, we celebrated Independence Day. Many of us went to celebrate with friends and family, and we saw comparisons of a different nature.
“I make the best ribs, hands down” someone said in my Facebook feed. I saw another interesting online dialogue from my friend who claims his mom’s mac and cheese is the best.
But the one sentiment that caught my eye was the person in my Twitterverse who simply stated that time with family and friends was “priceless.”
I couldn’t agree more.
We all have an idea of what “rich” or “wealthy” is. For some, that is a number or a level of fame.
But we are blessed to have individual bank accounts of experiences. Rare, raw, unscripted unique experiences. These are the things that define us, make us, and mold us. They shape how we walk, how we talk, and how we act.
I know someone is going to say “Come on, Gee, you can’t pay the bills with a memory of Memorial Day.” But hear me out.
I mention my father from time-to-time. And although I wish it were different and that he was still here with me, he is no longer. The time I had with him is now priceless. The lessons, the wisdom, and the time with him is something I can’t replace at any cost.
Jewelry? You can insure that if it is lost. Cars? Wreck them, get bored of them, and buy another.
But I cannot buy another minute with my dad.
Without our fancy cars, our houses, and vacation houses, jewelry, and for some our planes — who are we? I would say we are the sum of all of our experiences, not the sum of our wealth and possessions.
So when we gather as family or friends, or when we have those magical unique moments with the ones we love, be it our partner, spouse, or children, we all hold value to these moments that no currency can match. They are dear to us like a treasure you cannot sell or compare at a market.
So my friends, the next time you are gathered among your family or loved ones, take in the moment. Remind yourself how blessed you are. Remind yourself that the people around you are treasures that nobody else can have.
And if you say your mom has the best mac and cheese, I’m going to let you have that one. Because your mom made it, not mine, or anyone else’s. There’s a value there that nobody else can match, no matter how hard they try.