What is Wealth

Never do we feel more like giving than when we see heart-wrenching photos from a natural disaster.

Recently, ABC has been airing Secret Millionaire on Sunday nights, where millionaires keep their wealth under wraps while they work alongside those in the trenches fighting poverty only to reward someone worthy at the end of the program with a large check.

Yesterday, this inspiring CNN video of Narayanan Krishnan, an “ordinary” man in India, who left his job to cook, clean and not just care for, but “love” the poor in his locality went viral via Facebook and YouTube.

There’s no question, GIVING is on our minds at the moment.

You hear of the massive giving of folks like Bill Gates, with his Bill Gates Foundation, and Mark Zuckerburg who gave away 100s of millions to the Newark, NJ school system, but what of regular people?

Some religions believe in tithing – where you give 10% of everything you make back to God through the church.  It is believed that, in doing so, the 90% remaining will grow and multiply to more than make up for what you gave.  And while cynics may suggest that this is from the Church of the Middle Ages, who came up with such a program so that they could eat, there is something to this notion of giving what you can when you can.

Actually, the principal of tithing is to give the FIRST 10%, not tithe when you can. I was raised Christian fundamentalist in the Baptist tradition, and tithing was expected, then anything OVER the first 10% was able to be considered a “gift”. Now when I speak with folks about saving for themselves, they sometimes balk that they “can’t do it”. Well as my father was fond of saying, “can’t never did anything”. So, if you’ve tricked yourself into thinking that you “can’t” tithe, or you “can’t” give…I invite you to think again.

When gas prices skyrocketed even recently to almost $4.00 per gallon, who stayed home, instead of commuting to work, or doing necessary errands in our cars? Well these types of examples, including a hike in interest rates when some of us held adjustable mortgages, show us that we CAN adjust our spending, we can adjust our expectations, and in adjusting our minds, our actions quickly follow. For us Americans, if we wake up glad to have been born in America, what’s to stop us from opening up our wallets and sharing some of what ultimately has been given to us through a system of capitalism that many countries only dream of. Money is a token, a means to an end, period. It’s not the end.

Let’s re-imagine the ends to which we wish to funnel some or all of our monies. Let’s open our hearts, and allow the love we share with those less fortunate than ourselves to flow out in the form of generous actions or actual monetary donations.

There is a Principle of Reciprocity.  It is considered a universal law that says the more you give, the more is returned to you.  Because so many wealthy people have found this principle to work for them, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that giving more = getting more, as in MORE MONEY!

Not necessarily.  At least, it doesn’t work in such a linear (or at least immediate) fashion. Giving money, philanthropy, gives the donor an opportunity to feel that they’re helping, they’re part of the action, part of the solution.  This is a great feeling.  A spiritually rewarding feeling.  A Life Purpose justification feeling.  That is a HUGE gift in and of itself. No act is an individual act, period. If we give our spirits, our energies, our money, it is felt the world round in myriad ways. Scientists have proven that our DNA and the changes in our DNA study samples, for example, can travel untold distances and still retain the same DNA qualities of the giver, located apart from the sample DNA studies.

Because it feels so good to give, it inspires the donor to do more, and make more so that they can give more.  You don’t (usually) get a financial return on each and every investment, although this could change if “philanthrocapitalism” ever takes hold in the US.  The return is in the blessing ~ the recipient and you, the giver.

One quick reversal tactic for any depressive mood is to “give our way out” of that mood. If we refocus our attention on other’s circumstance or other’s need(s) we automatically gift them with our positive energy, not to mention our financial gift, in most cases. Although I would be remiss to infer that giving is limited to monetary gifts, it surely is not. Giving another a smile, or winking at someone in the elevator, or in the next car can bring that person into better, more positive space more times than not…and their response is often infectious. While we forward You Tubes of babies laughing, seemingly endlessly, we adults can ALSO spread laughter amongst those we meet.

In sales training some 30 years ago, we taped smiley faces to our telephones, and while it appeared amateurish at first, I was the first to notice how upbeat my voice sounded, and how inviting my tonality and voice pitch was when I smiled as I spoke. So, giving is infectious in a great way; it compounds people’s pleasure, as money compounds onto itself.

Realizing that up front will ensure that we are rewarded in many ways for what we give.  Sharing what we’re blessed with, even if it’s a small amount, is true wealth.  It’s why we urge you here on the blog, on our weekly podcasts, in everything we do – to spend wisely, save where you can and invest your money so that it grows.  The more you have, the more you have to give away!

God speed!