This is one of the posts recovered after a botched website move three years ago. It was originally written and published on June 26, 2011.
Wealth, as defined by Bing, Merriam-Webster, The Free Dictionary, Dictionary.com, and Wikipedia, has to do with material possessions and money.The United Nations even confines wealth to monetary applications and amounts of land. Go figure.And yet, if you ask someone what they will be if they win the lottery, the answer you're likely to get is, "Rich!"Who says, "If I win the lottery, I'll be wealthy"? No one I know would say that.I wouldn't shout, upon learning I'd picked the winning numbers, "I'm wealthy!" Would you?No doubt, the exclamation would be, "I'm rich!" or "We're rich!" depending on the situation.Money and possessions rule in defining wealth, until you get past the primary definitions. Once there, you see words like "abundance," "plentiful," and "profusion."I can get behind abundance and plentiful. Profusion is borderline bothersome for this minimalist.By the terms of the definitions referenced above, I have no wealth. I'm not wealthy, I'm wealth-free. Wealth-less. Worthless, solely in a monetary sense, after almost three months of being unemployed.I admit, it can be challenging to separate worthless in a monetary sense from worthless in a personal sense.Part of that has to do with society, and the more-is-better way of living.The other part has to do with simply wanting to be able to pay the few bills and buy a few groceries, and being hard-pressed to do that.In my worst moments - those how-will-I-pay-the-bills-and-buy-groceries moments - I feel the weight of the money-oriented world placed squarely upon my knotted shoulders and worry-wrinkled brow. Wealth-less.In my best moments - those grateful-to-barter-Reiki-for-massage-and-to-have-a-roof-over-my-head moments - I feel buoyant, grounded, centered, motivated. Wealthy.
???? Thankfully, I experience more best moments than worst moments.???? Thankfully, the minimal lifestyle I've chosen to lead inspires me to live with less (and less), and not want more and new and the-next-big things.???? Thankfully, I can recognize the wealth of who I am, and who I have in my life.
That last, above all else, is true wealthy living.