We take so much for granted today it can be helpful to stop and recognize how fortunate we are. Never in history has there been more wealth in the world. If you do not realize you are incredibly wealthy, read on!
Let's look at five areas of wealth in ascending order of importance that few people think about or realize today.
The wealth of individuals
Did you know America's poor are among the wealthiest people in history! According to a study by the nonprofit institute Just Facts, if the poorest 20% of Americans were a nation, it would be one of the richest in the world! The study shows this 20% of America consumes more goods and services than the national averages in most affluent countries worldwide!
Our view of wealth is so distorted in America few realize that those paid $50,000 per year earn more than 99% of people in the world! Yes, that makes the majority of Americans one-percenters!
"Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver." Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
The wealth of information and knowledge
In addition to how wealthy we are in America, those who have internet access can tap a storehouse of wealth that was unimaginable only half a century ago! This wealth is in the form of information and knowledge.
Wherever you are in the world, using a computer to connect to the internet can provide you with an information and knowledge base that continues to grow each day. At no time in history has so much knowledge been available to practically anyone anywhere. This wealth is so vast as to be indescribable.
To realize how much wealth exists in this information age, think about anything you wish to know in the world. With subject in hand, search for it on the internet. The probability you will find the information you seek is exceptionally high. Not only can you find written information, but you can most likely find videos on the subject through YouTube, the second largest search engine globally!
"Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual." Socrates (470-399 BC)
The wealth of opportunity
You can add to the extraordinary wealth of information and knowledge accessible to us the virtually unlimited opportunities available to those who live in free societies. By tapping into the vast knowledge on the internet, you can begin preparing for almost anything your heart desires and become one of the "luckiest" people in the world!
"Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity" Seneca (4BC – 65 AD)
The only thing holding you back is that person you look at in the mirror every day and your willingness to do the work of preparing yourself. By doing so, when that next opportunity shows up, you will be ready to take hold of it!
The wealth of health
"Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it." Josh Billings (1818-1885)
Continuing up this wealth ladder is one of the most important things to every human being on earth, their health. Health does not mean having all of your limbs or sight. Plenty of extraordinary people have proven otherwise. For the blind, look at what Helen Keller accomplished in her remarkable life. For the person with quadriplegia, look at the lives of Steven Hawking, Christopher Reed, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Charles Krauthammer. Each of them achieved more in their lives than the vast majority of us who have full use of our bodies.
For those of us who have our health, how wealthy we are! Our health goes beyond the physical and includes mental, emotional, social, occupational, and spiritual. Good health is more important than all of the money in the world.
If you were to ask any of the richest people on earth if they would rather have their health or money, which do you think they would choose? Good health is worth more than any material thing, no matter how much of it you have!
From where does health come? The wealth of our health comes from moving our bodies and the food we consume. Because we choose our activities and what we put in our mouths, we have a great deal of control over this wealth.
"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine." Hippocrates (460-370 BC)
The wealth of time
What could be more important than our health? Time!
"Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time." Jim Rohn (1930-2009)
Time is a funny thing. Most of us give it little thought, yet it is more valuable than anything else in life. Why? The more something is both desired and limited in availability, the more valuable it becomes. On top of this, time is irreplaceable and unrecoverable, increasing its value even further.
The only thing that exceeds the value of time is the assuredness there is more after this life. This is why the Christian message of death, resurrection, and salvation is important to so many of us. Where we wind up when time runs out is significant and an important part of Christianity.
There you have it—my top five most valuable things in the world that create wealth in our lives. What would you add to this list? I would love to know, so please leave your ideas in the comment section below.
A final thought that makes each type of wealth work at its best in our lives is to develop as much common sense and wisdom as possible.
Heed this common sense and wisdom from the gentleman known as the greatest German literary figure of the modern era:
"Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)