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Chapter 27

What is Wealth

When one asks themselves "what is wealth," people immediately think of money. They think of nice cars and big houses. People think of power and the ability to have control over others. When I was in elementary school I believed this same thing. Now that I am in highschool my outlook on what wealth is has changed dramatically. To me wealth is contentment and knowledge. With these two things will come the greatest wealth a person can achieve. Money does not necessarily mean contentment although some people think that it does. Wealth is not having money, property, and power if these things cannot make a person truly content. These things do not necessarily bring wisdom either.

When I think of wealth a quotation comes to mind. It was said by Henry David Thoreau:

"Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance

of generations and nations... Their authors are a natural and irresistible

aristocracy in every society, and, more than kings or emperors, exert an

influence on mankind."

I believe that if one chooses to enrich their mind and strive for knowledge that they are truly wealthy. Wealth is the ability to enrich and influence. With knowledge one can do these things. Wealth is not taking things for granted. In many ways knowledge can help you achieve success. With knowledge one can look into the past and see the mistakes that others have made. The person with knowledge will not repeat these mistakes. Knowledge can help one make the right choices in life. If one can make the right choices in life and live a good life then they can truly have wealth.

Wealth is not the ability to take everything for granted. Wealth is not greed and malice towards others. People sometimes put so much stress on wealth. What I believe is that if one should spend their life gaining wealth than what truly was the purpose of life. When one dies all the wealth will not go with them. Wealth is not the endless struggle to gain more riches than another. If one is obsessed with this idea how can one truly be wealthy. When one struggles for material items such as money there will always be an emptiness inside them. This emptiness will never be filled no matter how much money they can attain. Pretty soon the need for money will destroy a person. I have seen how money can corrupt individuals. Wealth is not being famous and having everyone know who you are. Others may know who you are but if you do not know who you are what is the point of all this fame.

Wealth is not the ability to gloat and boast to others about your riches. The more a person does this they will become more lonely in life. When one brags they expect others to feel bad and jealous. This person feeds of these feelings of jealousy. If people are indifferent and do not pay attention then the person will never be complete. How can someone like this truly be wealthy?

When I think of wealth another quotation comes to mind. It was said by Titus Lucretius Carus:

"But if one should guide his life by true principles, man's greatest

wealth is to live on a little with contented mind; for a little is never


I believe that wealth is contentment. Wealth is happiness. Without contentment one can never truly be wealthy. I think that money cannot always bring this contentment. A person must be at peace with his mind and his heart. If a person can achieve this peace then any amount of money will be enough for them. Of course, not many people can achieve this level. One way is religion. If a person is religious and is in pursuit of inner peace than they are wealthy. It they can find happiness in this way then their life truly has a purpose. It really does not matter what religion one follows. If this religion gives them peace then it is the true giver of wealth.

I believe that a middle-class worker with a family and a modest income can easily be more happy than a millionaire with seven wives and no morals. Another way a person can acquire wealth is through family. To have someone whom you can pass down your experiences and knowledge is true wealth. To love and to be loved is wealth. Having people to take care of and having responsibilities makes life interesting. A life without these things can never truly be content.

Basically I believe that wealth is something that someone cannot necessarily achieve through wealth and fame. One needs knowledge and contentment. With religion, education, and family a person can reach these goals. Wealth is not unhappiness and ignorance. With these things one does not have wealth and life has no purpose. I hope after someone reads this they can have more insight into what wealth truly is.

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