There’s an old joke that goes, if you ask someone if they masturbate there are two kinds of people who answer— those that say yes, and those that lie. The same is usually true about asking someone if they want to be rich—there are those that do, and those that lie. When we think about it, why wouldn’t someone want access to unlimited resources to be able to make their life and the lives of many others better? Why would we not want abundance for ourselves and to share with the world? Why would we not want to be rich?
Money has gotten a bad rap in a lot of circles because it has been horded by so many unscrupulous people—the kind that operate from a place of lack and greed, caring only about their small inner circle. I recently saw a talk by a very wealthy young person who advises others on business success. He said that the key to his happiness is to make sure the closest five to ten people in his life are happy. Ugh, really? He’s only concerned with five to ten people on a planet of over seven billion? I cringed at his answer. Its that kind of thinking that has lead us to so much inequality, hording, and mean spiritedness when it comes to income inequality.
As Albert Einstein once famously said, “A human being is a part of the whole called a universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet will likely go down as two of the biggest philanthropists in history. Under their guidance the Gates Foundation has tackled some of the world’s greatest issues related to income inequality in Africa, South America, Europe, and America such as: hunger and poverty in the world’s poorest nations, science and technology related to health care needs, high school and post secondary education for vulnerable children and families in the U.S.. This is all being done while they lead lifestyles that afford them all the worldly enjoyments they could personally imagine.
One understanding of wealth might be more accurately thought of as Abundance, the natural state of the universe. Can we count the stars, the sand, or the needles of a pine tree? They are all too abundant to do so— they are all the nature of life. In John Randolph Price’s, The Abundance Book, he states, “Since the beginning of the civilized world enlightened ones have taught that prosperity is a part of the natural process—that lavish abundance is the unquestionable nature of each individual…What one has done all can do…understand that lack is simply the out-picturing of false beliefs, and to know that as you make the correction in consciousness, you will become a channel for the activity of ever-expanding affluence in your life.”
For those interested in how to achieve this according to Price, check out his book and the 40-day prosperity meditation to shift consciousness from lack to abundance.
When it comes to money, there are few who can honestly say they are completely secure in their “abundance consciousness.” In an article by Deepak Chopra he states that unless someone is truly rooted in a state of abundance consciousness they will fall into one of two categories: those without money that are afraid they’ll never get it, and those with money that are afraid someone is going to take it away. How do we come into a true sense of true financial freedom and abundance? Perhaps changing the definition of wealth from just strictly having a lot of money to having money, contribution to the world, health, and love is a good start (i.e. having Abundance)
We may also want to learn better financial literacy, and how “the system” is actually teaching us lessons in lack. That is, our culture is teaching us to be employees, to save money, and to invest in the stock market. This old recipe is often failing millions of people as the nature of the economy shifts. Saving money often leaves us in a high tax bracket eating up much of the savings— and behind the eight ball in terms of inflation. As the value of money deteriorates due to quantitative easing (read, the government continuing to print more money to pay off past debts) savings can rarely keep up with inflation. The answers to our money concerns are many. For older folks who have been in the past paradigm of saving and investing in the stock market, they may have enough to last them into retirement. For far too many others the answers tend to lie in learning more about financial literacy, and even about becoming an entrepreneur.
In Robert Kiyosaki’s now famous book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, he recounts how after being raised by a poor father and a rich father, his lessons about money from both men were night and day. The poor father taught him to get a good job and save money. His rich father taught him to become a business owner, to learn the difference between an asset and a liability (an asset generates money a liability costs money – that is, anything bringing in money each month such as a café that is generating profit is an asset, a house you live in without renters is a liability—because it flows money out of your life each month), he was taught the language of money – such as replacing “I can’t afford it” with “How can I afford it?”, the difference between good debt and bad debt (such as a loan on a profit making business being good debt, credit card debt being bad debt)—and not to shy away from good debt, finally , he was taught about how to protect his assets and how to generate passive income (making income from a business you don’t have to be at physically to generate the income from – rentals, businesses, literary works, etc.)
I have never met anyone who could honestly say they didn’t want to have abundance: financial freedom, to be able to contribute to helping others, to be able to afford good health, to find work they feel passionate about, and to have love in their life.
Below is a link to Robert Kiyosaki’s TedxUCSD talk on wealth consciousness and the challenges of current day paradigms. Check it out.