Money, responsibility and wealth

Is our greatest wealth money – or something else?

Money, responsibility and wealth

We live in a world with extremely diverse wealth and living standards. It is mind boggling to clock the material wealth on this planet. The world’s 10 richest billionaires own $1.144 trillion in combined wealth, a sum greater than the total goods and services most nations produce on an annual basis[1].

We have landowners who own vast amounts of land – the Catholic Church for example is estimated to hold total land of around 177 million acres, and a fast-food chain has had nearly $30 billion in real estate holdings, with it having been one of the largest commercial real estate owners in the world[2].

Then there are the wealthiest celebrities in the world of whom some have a net worth of anything from $380 million to $910 million[3], whose wealth includes endorsing products, royalties, salaries, income from TV, live shows etc, whereby for example in 2017 a book writer earned $95 million, and a celebrity chef earned $60 million[4].

Individuals owning more than $1 million in wealth (the world’s richest) make up 1% of the global population, owning 43.4% of the global wealth[5].

And yet

  • Individuals with less than $10,000 in wealth make up 53.6% of the global population, owning 1.4% of global wealth[5].

  • “Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day”[6].

  • “1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty… and 22,000 children die each day due to poverty”[6].

How responsible are we with money?
Why is it that we have such a disparity when it comes to the distribution of wealth? And what exactly is wealth?


When considering how responsible we are with money, one question to consider is what exactly are we funding when we spend money? We may be paying for a product or a service, but is there more to it than that? For example:

  • If we buy clothes from a clothing retailer, are we funding slavery?

  • If we go to pop concerts, what exactly are we paying for? Yes to see the star perform, for the stage and light show, the venue, security guards. But are we not also paying for the performers to live celebrity lifestyles – for their cars, houses, and whatever they drink and eat and whatever substances or forms of decadence they subscribe to?

  • If we buy sugar are we funding the sugar corporations to continue to supply sugar, when sugar is highly addictive and causes imbalance in our body[7]?

  • If we have savings in stocks and shares are we funding corruption or endorsing unethical practices (as we don’t always know the detail of exactly which stocks or shares we fund, nor how they look after that money)?

  • If we buy a ticket to a dance show are we funding the pressure on the dancers to be thin and exhausted?

  • If we buy a food product where damaging pesticides are used, are we funding the destruction of our environment?

  • If we buy a media item, e.g. we subscribe to a particular newspaper or magazine, are we condoning the way the media investigates or reports and publishes stories?

  • If we donate money to charity do we truly know how it is used and what exactly it is doing to serve humanity (if anything?)

We may feel something is a ‘good product’ but if we are not aware of what is going on behind the scenes are we not adding to the already huge disparity of wealth on the planet? And are we not enablers and bystanders if we continue to turn a blind eye and buy a certain product that at the end of the supply chain is raping our world, damaging the environment or harming people? Given that our everyday choices, including our relationship with money, either has the potential to harm or heal, do we not have a responsibility for the way we are with money?

If we are more discerning in how we are with money there may be the possibility to bring some much needed change to the world. If we all stopped buying a product for a day, a week, a month, or longer would that not be a call for change, such as if we all stopped buying newspapers what message would that send to the media and journalism? Would it cause a stop moment for the supplier to reconsider the product or service they are offering?

How is it we have such a disparity in wealth where a very few hold almost 50% of the world’s wealth between them? The way society is set up, from education to business, leads us to be competitive and to be rewarded. No wonder we have inequality where amassing great wealth is not only a sign of success, but brings with it a sense that with wealth we have greater security and power.

Yet if we were to look at the lives of the rich and famous, how secure are they when they may suffer anguish, mental health or other health issues, require security guards around them 24/7, and when they are only as good as their latest movie or their latest song? Are they truly wealthy if their lifestyles, relationships or family life are dysfunctional? Does this not raise the question as to whether money and material wealth brings happiness, wellbeing, successful relationships, or whether it is actually not the nirvana we often dream of?

Money is not the root of all evil and neither are ‘riches’ the answer to happiness, love and fulfilment.

So if we have been raised to do well at school, get a good job and make a good living, what exactly is this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when having money does not fulfil its promises?

What if there is something else on offer here?

Yes, as it is in the world at this time, we do need money as an exchange for goods and services. But what if we are missing the point if we only aspire to wealth being financial, material or land wealth? And we chase rainbows for a better life when material or financial wealth are not the only wealth on this planet and in essence not the richest wealth by any means.

Whilst we know that however we spend or save money, or divide land, the access to material wealth may not ever fully equalise, yet there is a wealth that is equally accessible, one that is not related to money or land. A wealth deep within every one of us which is found in our essence.

"To return to the essence of your whole body, as all children naturally are, and not just the governance from your mind, is in itself an enrichment that is well worth taking, whatever steps are required to do so."

Serge Benhayon An Open Letter to Humanity, ed 1, p 550

When we return to our essence, we begin to realise that the wealth outside of ourselves that we have used as a way to fill ourselves up can never replace the quality that our essence brings. And that material wealth or money are not the answer to all our needs. And whilst we need money for daily living and to be in the world, the emphasis on money or material wealth need not have the degree of emphasis that we have thus far given it.

So maybe it is time to shift our focus to what is of true value? And in doing this, the way we spend money or utilise land or material resources may also change, as when we know our essence we know the true wealth that is within us, and we see the magic around us too.

And when we know our essence we realise the richness deep within is far greater than money can buy.


References

  • [1]

    https://inequality.org/facts/global-inequality/

  • [2]

    https://the-biggest.net/people/who-are-the-wealthiest-landowners-in-the-world.html

  • [3]

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/richest-celebrities-in-the-world-2016-8/#1-madonna-20

  • [4]

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/25/britains-richest-celebrities-2017-top-10-gross-earnings/

  • [5]

    https://www.credit-suisse.com/media/assets/corporate/docs/about-us/research/publications/global-wealth-report-2020-en.pdf

  • [6]

    https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-global-poverty

  • [7]

    https://www.unimedliving.com/diet-and-weight-loss/healthy-lifestyle/is-sugar-really-a-poison.html

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