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Thursday, October 16, 2008

What is Wealth?

In 1989,Seymour Durst, a Manhattan real estate developer, created Times Square's National Debt Clock, which has been tallying up money owed by the U.S. Government.

Well, it has quickly run out of spaces!

In September of this year, the digital dollar sign was eliminated to make way for an extra digit -- the "1" in $10 trillion (a new clock is in the works that will make room for a quadrillion dollars of debt).

A quadrillion dollars?

The recent economic news has me thinking about "wealth."
Trillions in the stock market gone. GONE! Where did it all go? Of course, the word "greed" is being bantered about rather liberally. We seem to love Wall Street when it's making us money, but... It's funny, as one commentator wisely said, Wall Street without greed would just be pavement.

Deepak Chopra reminds us in a recent post on his site
: “Jesus was asking a serious question when he said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul?” By the same logic he told his listeners to store up wealth in heaven, not on earth. This turns out to be good economics, because the more you attach your worth to money, the more harmed you will be in a crash. But there’s much more to it, of course.”

What is wealth?

How about this: You are wealthy if you don't need the things money can buy in order to prosper.

Here is his recipe for bailing ourselves out of this
financial crises:

* Reject fear and pessimism.

* Know what your vision is and act upon it.

* Don't blame others and seek payback when things go wrong.

* Prosper inwardly through love, generosity, giving, and altruism.

* Stop identifying with your salary and possessions.

* Work for the common good whenever you can.

What's today's Knight's lesson?
"Every crisis comes with opportunity," writes Chopra. "Knowing the difference between wealth and money provides the wisdom to seize these creative opportunities."

Sir Bowie "wondering what my personal debt / wealth clock is reading" of Greenbriar


  1. I love this entry... what is the balance?... I've been called everything under the sky since I embraced the idea of the Summus Bonus (the greater good) at work, and it seems ridiculous to me to live any other way... students love this idea, by the way. I think our young people are realizing other ideas based on spiritual richness rather than material greed... I love this post!

  2. Speaking as someone who at one time in my life lost my soul by gaining profit, this post speaks simply, therefore powerfully, as to why we are motivated by gaining material things and wealth at the expense of our well being, and most probably at someone else's expense too.

    I believe the basic motivator for greed is fear. That was true in my case. I was afraid I wouldn't make enough to support those who depended on me. I wanted attention and glory for the accomplishments I made, which was based in the fear of not being recognized.

    There's much to be said about the teaching of Jesus about not praying aloud and flaunting in public, but to pray in silence and private, where the true reward is found.

    That's why it's appropriate that Sir Bowie has listed rejecting fear as the number one item. Everything else that is listed comes automatically once fear loses its grip on your life.

    It's in these trying times that true creative opportunities abound. Fear not!

    Sir Hook (A Pharisee in Recovery) of Warrick

  3. Great Blog Bowie.. this fits in with my musings the other week of whether Rich people can ever be Holy.

    When i was young and had no money to my name, and hitchhiked around East Africa, and east europe etc, i was thought of as "wealthy" simply because i came from the West and travelled. Wealth is relative.

    I've also been as "Good" as i have been able to be, not, to store up wealth in Heaven, because i have no way of telling if there is one, but I did it and still do it, because i am a Human Being, and its what we do. No Agenda required.

    Now I am Old(er) I'm real glad i squirrelled away, and am still squirrelling away a whole heap of money...cos i am sure as hell going to need it to pay the med bills and the dental and the whopping Nursing Home Bills, because the local church doesn't yet put up Homeless sick people in its aisles.

    Yep I loved my Young Kerouac days...On the road...I was Immortal and dirt poor ... i see that Jesus is all well and okay...but he was off and out of it by age 33....i'd like to hear his take on Piles, Prostrate Gland Trouble... and long term care of Dementia.

    Utopian Communes are always full of young people.

    D of O.. ( Greed is bad. Laying my paws on as much cash as i can while being bet!!!)