If you’re anything like me, you’ve wondered for a least a short moment how it would feel to be disgustingly wealthy. Please don’t confuse this with envy or jealousy. At the moment, I have enough resources to purchase whatever I need or want without going hungry. But I can’t help but wonder, especially in the strangest of circumstances, how my life would change if I had millions stashed somewhere.
Let’s imagine the most routine domestic issues. If you have zillions, do you use a bar of soap and then toss it? Or do you do what most of us do and use it until it’s microscopic? When you have more food on your plate than you can consume, do you take home leftovers? This presumes that you have your own chef and you can feast on whatever you want, whenever you want it. How many rooms do you need in your home if you can only live in one room at a time? This question always conjures the picture of Warren Buffett who lives in the same house he’s always had in Omaha.
This analysis leads me to a question of what truly defines wealth. We all know who the fabulously wealthy people are – they are the geniuses such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and other business giants. Then there are the sports figures and actors who are handsomely paid and are pretty obvious about their lush lifestyles.
Because I’ll never have too much money to count or manage, my personal definition of wealth has very little to do with dollars. The wealthy in my estimation are those who work in soup kitchens, volunteer in hospitals on Christmas so that others can have the day off and those who anonymously pay all off the layaway items at a Walmart store.
Inevitably, those who are wealthy with kindness, charity and humility may or may not have equivalent accumulations of assets. Because I aspire to that status, I can confirm that my desire to deposit immeasurable good into the universe will have nothing to do with my financial status. On this eve of a meaningful holiday to so many, let us celebrate those who are truly blessed with the spirit of selfless giving. Shalom.