I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

What does it mean to be rich?

on March 18, 2014

lady thinking about moneyMany people in this world believe that they are rich when they have a lot of money or possessions.   However, the word ‘rich’ means to have an abundance of something but not necessarily material things.   Being rich can mean that you have a wonderful family, a fulfilling career, knowledge, good health, sufficient food and a comfortable place to live.  It all depends on what is important in your life.

I just watched a video about a boy who didn’t feel very rich.  He lived alone with his father, who was always working hard, yet they lived very poor.   He thought his father was not very smart and didn’t like or respect him.  At the end of the video, the son saw his father from a different perspective, but it was very sad because they could have lived a much better life if the father had treated his son in a different way.  Please watch the video and then see if you agree with my comments below.

The son grew up believing that his father did not care about him.    When he picked up the note his father had written (You will be a great man, just believe), for an instant he thought it was for him and he was very happy, but quickly his father damaged his esteem by telling him the note was not for him.   He didn’t have any problem giving notes to other children, but he seemed to have a problem giving notes to his son.  It is important that parents tell their children how much they love them and encourage them to do great things.   Some parents have difficulty communicating verbally to their children, but they can do this in other ways:  writing a note, giving a hug, etc.  The father could have allowed his son to have the note and could have written another one for the other child.

When the son was given money, the father made him put some of it in a jar, telling him it was to pay the taxes.  The father also put money in the jar.  The son asked his father why they weren’t rich and the dad told him that being rich wasn’t about how much we have but about what we give.  The problem was, the father didn’t explain what the money was for.  What was the point in keeping this secret?   The boy should have openly been taught to be generous and even gone on some trips with him to the orphanage.  This would have created a strong bond between the father and son.

The son wanted to become successful, so he tried very hard at school and ended up with a good career that took him away from his dad.  The day he left, the dad gave him some money with a big smile, but the son gave it back and both of them parted very sad.  Then when the father called to ask his son if he was coming home, he was turned aside and left alone.   It wasn’t until the dad passed away, that the son found out what he had been doing and how much other people had respected him.

This video makes me very sad, because this father had a generous, loving heart but he didn’t know how to show it to his son.  He was able to connect with strangers but he was very lacking in parenting skills and it affected their lives in a negative way.   The son went through his childhood and teen years hoping to get his father’s approval and feeling that he had no value.    This happens in so many families where parents don’t know how to communicate openly with their children and this leads to family and relationship breakdowns.

Parents need to be aware of how they are communicating with their children.   If we have come from a family that didn’t communicate very well, we need to take steps and learn how to communicate effectively so we can build strong relationships with our family and friends.   Our children don’t just know that we love them or accept them.  THEY NEED TO BE TOLD.  THEY NEED TO BE REMINDED.  THEY NEED MEANINGFUL TOUCHES.  THEY NEED ENCOURAGEMENT.  So do our spouses, our siblings, our relatives and our friends.  People can’t read our minds but they can read our body language and they can hear what we say.

So what does it mean to be rich?  As the father in this video said, “Being rich is not about how much you have but about how much you can give”.  This means we are rich if we are generous to other people – by giving our love, our time, our talents and our treasure.   When we do this, we receive something very wonderful in return – LOVE.

For me, being rich is being loved.  What does being rich mean to you?



One response to “What does it mean to be rich?

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