What is wealth?

Yesterday, I was out Christmas shopping with my mum and my two daughters.  I thought that the penultimate weekend before Christmas would be much crazier than it was…thankfully, lots of people are opting for online shopping so I was having a much calmer time than anticipated.

We were walking back towards my car, when all of a sudden a familiar looking lady started waving and gesturing towards my mum frantically.  Immediately, I reverted back to my teenage self.  When I would be shopping with mum in the past,  she’d always bump into a friend and they’d be talking for hours, whilst my sister and brother and I would be standing awkwardly, half listening, half clock-watching, wondering when we could be going on our way again.

It turned out that the lady in question was a wealthy mother of a child I used to tutor about 19 years ago.  She loved my mother, so when I wasn’t able to tutor anymore, she asked if my mum would take over – which mum did.  They grew quite close, and she would confide in mum quite often.  It had been years since they had seen one another; so when the lady saw mum again, she couldn’t contain her delight.  Even to my eyes, that are trained to look for beauty in people’s features as opposed to the faults…I could tell that the years had taken their toll on her.

What the conversation revealed, I will not tell.  It’s not fair to divulge secrets that aren’t mine.  But all I could think of was this…she has so much money, she is so wealthy – but so deeply unhappy!  How is this possible?

Money makes the world go round doesn’t it?  People spend their lives chasing cash.  Powerful people behave like absolute demons because they are so fully aware that because they have so much of the green stuff at their disposal – it seals people’s lips and they get away with anything.  But can you buy happiness?  You certainly cannot!

Driving mum back to her house, my mind was spinning with these thoughts.  People are sad when they don’t have money.  People are sad even if they do.  Perhaps we need to spend more time evaluating what does make us happy and then take time to pursue that?

I spoke to my brother about the lady that we had bumped into. “How is she?” he asked.  “Sad,” I replied.  “Oh, how come?” he asked, looking concerned.

“More money, more problems!” was my response.

He nodded sagely and also agreed, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems!”


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