Would You Rather Be Rich or Wealthy?

When we talk about wealth we often equate that to money. Or maybe the things we have. We like to accumulate things in an effort to show others how rich we are. If you have that kind of money, go for it. I’m not trying to stop you, but I do want you to be aware of what you are doing. Seeking money for money’s sake won’t get you anywhere in life. True wealth comes from a different place.

I remember when my daughter was little, she would go to the beach with us and wanted to build a sand castle. She understood that the dry sand on the top wouldn’t hold together to build a castle well so she asked me what to do to build a real castle. I explained to her that she needed to use some wet sand and first put it in the castle-shaped bucket. Then it would stick together. It would take a lot of time and effort but it would be worth it. Of course, she thought I was talking about sand castles, but I was really talking about life.

We dug a hole and got down to some very wet sand. At the bottom of the hole there was even some seawater. She kept reaching into that hole and grabbing the wet sand at the bottom. Each tiny fistful would come out dripping the sand out. The harder she would squeeze, the more sand got out of her grasp. This was frustrating to the point of tears. She would never be able to build a castle with that method.

That sand is a little like our money. We would love to be rich, but dollars, like grains of sand, don’t do anything on their own. We spend our lives scraping for what money we can, but most of it slips out. Something else must be added to the mix. When put together in the right amounts, sand can be used to make concrete. Without it, the sand stays in a useless pile. Real wealth can be made from dollars, but dollars alone do not make wealth.

Remember that money is not really what you need. When my daughter would open her hand after squeezing that sand, thousands of grains of sand clung to her hand without any effort on her own. As we walked back, the sand was forgotten and I was grateful to have spent a day with my family. Perhaps that is all we really need to have true wealth.

Dr. Equity