A lot has been said about wealth and poverty…often in praise of poverty and lack. But is poverty the way to salvation? Can poverty save lives? I believe that the notion that wealth is wrong is more social than scriptural. But this philosophy and way of thinking has been with us throughout the ages. Will the fact that this perception has been accepted by a majority of us now make it true? I don’t think so. I don’t think there is anything wrong in desiring to be rich.
Wallace Wattles felt the same way too, when he wrote in his classic “The science of getting rich”; “Whatever maybe said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich. No man can rise to his greatest possible height in talent or soul development unless he has plenty of money, for to unfold the soul and to develop talent he must have things to use, and he cannot have these things unless he has money to buy them with…and society is so organized that man must have money in order to become the possessor of things…” that make life easy.
I believe there is nothing wrong to be rich or desiring to be rich. And before you begin to wonder why, I know what it is to live in poverty, to be called POOR. I know what it is like to eat one meal a day…and drink water to “fill up the space”. I know what it is like to drink water from the same source you bath and wash your clothes in. I know what it feels like to live at the mercies of others, and always wear handed down clothes…to trek kilometres to school, and owing just one set of worn out school uniforms. I know what it is like to not have, and always wishing the next person you meet will show compassion on you and give you a note. Continue reading Is it Wrong to be Rich?
A man who was hiking in the mountains was taken by surprise in a sudden snow storm and quickly lost his way. He knew he needed to find shelter fast, or he would freeze to death. Despite all of his efforts, his hands and feet quickly went numb. In his wandering he literally tripped over another man who was almost frozen. The hiker had to make a decision: should he help the man or should he continue in hopes of saving himself.
In an instant he made a decision and threw off his wet gloves. He knelt beside the man and begun massaging his arms and legs. After the hiker had worked a few minutes, the man began to respond and was soon able to get on his feet. Together the two men, supporting each other, found help.
The hiker was later informed that by helping another, he had helped himself. His numbness vanished while he was massaging the stranger’s arms and legs. His heightened activity had enhanced his circulation and brought warmth to his hands and feet.
Folks when the hiker lost sight of his predicament and focused on helping the other man, he solved his own problem, just as it is written in the gospel of Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Do you need love? Then give out love to somebody today. The quickest way to get to the peak of life is to forget about self and help others reach greater heights.“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley
Blaine Athorn shared this analogy of life in one of his events; “Life is like walking down a road. Sometimes in life, there are going to be people on one side of the road throwing stones, and there are going to be people on the other side throwing sticks. If you walk down the middle of that road, you will be hit with stones and sticks. Sometimes in life you have to stand up for what is right because if you walk down the middle of the road, no one will respect you”.
There are times in life when we have to stand up for what we know in our moral compass is right. So when somebody else is getting wronged, when somebody else is doing something that isn’t right, you tell them this isn’t the right thing to do and I won’t participate. If we want to be successful we have to have integrity. If it is wrong, it is wrong. Integrity means honesty and truth. William Shakespeare wrote, “And this above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day thou canst not be false to any man”. If you are true to yourself you will not be false to anyone else.
Success in life requires dealing with people, and people can only deal with you if they trust you. People love and value men and women of integrity with a sense of humour, kindness and gentleness. As Shakespeare said let us be true to our self, let us try as best as we can to know ourselves, to take a true inventory of our abilities, talents, what we want, our goals. Discover what course of life will fulfil your powers completely. Discovering all these is being true to ourselves. That is integrity. Successful people have discovered themselves, they know what they want and follow their strongest suit. They do what they can do with all that is in them. They do not go with the flow – they are true! They recognize that honesty is good business, honesty is the best means of getting rich.
It may seem like people can gain success and money quickly if they are willing cut corners and act without their compass of morality. While dishonesty may provide instant gratification in the moment, it never lasts. Yes there are people out there without integrity who succeed and acquire power without ever getting caught, and this creates a false perception of the path to success for us to follow. These individuals may have gained momentarily success, but the truth is it is a high price to pay, as the consequences outweigh the gains. Those persons have lost their integrity and the ability to be trusted by friends. “Profit in dollars or power is temporary, but profit in a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity is forever.”
In this life that we have it is important to define what our moral compass is. What is that code that we would live by and stand true to? “The greatest ignorance of all is the mistaken belief that we can ever receive more than we truly earn. Sooner or later there will be an accounting” Paul in the letter to the Galatians wrote; “Be not deceived God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Life can only return to us what we sow. Right now you have great great wealth; you can think, you have talent, and you have time, sow them as seeds. And when days come when you find yourself depressed or confused remember the words of Dean Briggs, “Do your work, not just your work and no more but a little more for lavishing sake, that little more that is worth all the rest, and if you suffer as you must and if you doubt as you must, do your work, put your heart into it and then out of your very doubt will be born the supreme joy of life”.