Essay number four: by The Midnight Writer
What is Wealth
Wealth is one of those concepts that hold a different meaning to each person according to what they value. In a desert community the man who controls the water controls the wealth. In a swampland community the man who controls the dry land controls the wealth.
Most of us develop a desired goal of wealth and then spend our lives struggling to acquire that wealth while envious of those who have achieved it. Our own attitude toward this pursuit will determine whether it is a joy or a burden.
I have decided to make the pursuit of wealth a joy. I recognize wealth as existing on different levels for different purposes. When each level is recognized and appreciated for its actual value and nothing more, there is no need for envy or jealousy. Wealth can be divided into four categories to correspond with the four needs of man: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.
Wealth, like many other things, can be either good or evil according to our own perceptions. When you study the different levels of wealth you can see where we attach our own beliefs about good and evil to it. Evil comes from hoarding. Whether it is because you are selfish or just afraid of losing your wealth, it will develop a dark hold upon you. Not sharing your wealth would be like placing a great value on hugs and kisses and then being afraid to let anyone touch you.
Level 1: Material wealth is easily understood. It involves possession of a commodity. It could be money, land, fresh water, food, shelter or a collection of Elvis Presley records. If its possession brings you great joy then I say, “God Bless You!” If it brings you fear of losing it and envy of others who have acquired more than you then I say, “Seek Guidance!”
Material wealth is the least important of all the levels but it has wonderful qualities that make its pursuit worthwhile. It offers you comfort. It allows you to provide for your family and loved ones. It allows you to offer help to others less fortunate and create products for the consumption of others.
It creates a whole myriad of positive effects when used properly. Give humble thanks for all of the material blessings in your life but remember if you die in your sleep tonight, you will not be able to take one penny of it with you to the afterlife.
Level 2: Mental wealth is the acquirement of knowledge. It is a source of unlimited wealth and joy. You can continue to acquire knowledge until the day you die and no matter how much you share it with others you won’t lose it. Time should be set aside every day for the attainment and sharing of knowledge.
I believe that the sharing of knowledge is one of the greatest gifts we may offer to our fellowman. We struggle and learn on an individual level but the knowledge we acquire is multiplied many times over when we share it with others. Common sense teaches us that our mental wealth grows with time, experience and sharing. Let’s grow mentally wealthy.
Level 3: Emotional wealth is in my opinion the most difficult level of wealth to understand and deal with and yet is the most important. You cannot place a high enough value on love, affection and compassion. Your life is worthless without them. The negative effect of life without the positive emotions could even cause you to end your life.
Emotional wealth works backwards compared to the other forms of wealth. You increase your wealth of love by giving love. You increase your wealth of affection by being affectionate. You receive compassion by being a compassionate person. Your emotional wealth must be shared with others. If you try to hoard it and protect it, it will wither on the vine and your soul will be damned to the dark side.
Level 4: Your Spiritual wealth is the only wealth you have that is eternal. I believe that it survives the grave and is recorded in the universal consciousness for all of eternity. Its power is determined by an accumulation of the other three forms of wealth.
Think of your spiritual wealth as being all of the things God allows you to take with you when you die. Because of your own free will, that wealth will be determined by what you valued during your life. That means you are building your own Heaven or Hell right now according to those things you value and share with your fellow man. It makes the affection you just shared with your neighbor worth a whole lot more than that new car you just bought with money you swindled someone out of the other day doesn’t it.
If you do not share my view on wealth then I guess we will just have to respectfully disagree. I am always open to changing my mind but I do have strong beliefs on this subject. I believe that our souls survive the grave. I want my afterlife filled with love, joy, peace and fond memories. I am not willing to gamble with the idea that I am wrong nor can I think of one good reason why anyone should.