If a child walked up to you and asked, “Excuse me—are you rich?” How would you respond?
I actually visualized this while driving home with my family from an afternoon of spending gift cards…it felt similar to a day-dream but, much clearer and more real. A child came up to me (…strangely enough it was not one of my own!) and asked me that question. I had to contain a burst of laughter…and then I heard myself answer, “Filthy!” With a huge smile on my face—“I’m filthy rich!”
It was then that I noticed the child size me up…seriously, the child scanned me from head to toe and back up again! And then his gaze went to surveying my truck…which of course at this time of year is covered in dirt and salt. Interesting…I thought. I leaned over and said to the child, “You don’t believe me, do you?” The child’s eyes responded with “nope”!
“Ah, I see…my clothes and my truck don’t equate to your definition of being rich—in other words, to you I don’t look rich. Allow me to share with you just how filthy rich I am starting with the physical stuff. My boots, purchased at least 3 years ago and now stained with old slush and salt, are Uggs…they aren’t the most stylish looking things but, I adore them! They keep my feet toasty warm and cozy…I’m incredibly grateful for their warmth and protection from the cold and snow. My winter jacket, purchased 4-5 years ago retailed at $800…I got it for less than $200! For me, there’s nothing more exciting and fulfilling when I find a beautiful piece of clothing that makes me feel like a million bucks every time I wear it….for a bargain price! My truck is a 2004 Honda Pilot and she has $128,000 miles on her…I absolutely cherish my truck! She runs like a champ, she’s safe, and fun to travel in.
Moving on from the physical stuff to “other” stuff….during our drive you see, my husband was gracious about sharing his coffee with me. He knew I had been looking forward to enjoying coffee on the ride home only my coffee had been horribly overdosed with chocolate mint flavoring making it unbearable to drink! I was most grateful for my husband’s generosity and thoughtfulness. I also enjoyed hearing my children laugh while singing to the radio, seeing the excitement on their faces as they spent their gift cards, and laugh again as my husband sang horribly…on purpose!
You see, what makes me filthy rich has very little to do with money. Is money a part of the equation? Sure—money is always a component, it’s always present as a tool, a resource, a source of energy. However, money isn’t the “root” of my being rich. My being filthy rich has to do with how good I feel from moment to moment. Go back and look for all the “good feeling” words I used to describe my story…adore, cozy, grateful, exciting, fulfilling, beautiful, cherish, safe, fun, gracious, grateful, generosity, thoughtfulness, enjoyed, laugh, excitement, laugh…
At the “root” of all these feelings is ONE emotion, love. I am filthy rich because of the abundant exchange of love—not money.
The child looked at me with a “knowing” expression—yep, he got it.
Did you? Get it I mean–did YOU get it?
Today is New Years Day…the first day of 2013. Perhaps at the dinner table tonight you engage your children in this conversation….ask them and each other—“Exactly how rich are you?”
After all, we are all still here…the world didn’t end and we haven’t fallen off any cliff. Seems to me that we are all very very…very RICH!