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A new definition of wealth

Cottage garden at Snapdragon Life, Scotland


In one of my favourite books - Charles Eisenstein's brave and challenging The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible - there is a discussion about the definition of wealth.

He defines being wealthy as having “the ease and freedom to be generous.”

I love this definition. I love it for two reasons.

First that it is a definition that sees being wealthy as a mind set thing. This rings true to me; we all know people who give generously and easily from straightened circumstances, and equally we probably know people with a lot of money who hoard.

The second reason is that I love is that there is no mention of what the generosity involves. It might be cash, but it could just as equally be time or wisdom or food or love.

Wealth in this definition isn't about cash in the bank, or the size of your house, the make of your car or where you bought your handbag.

It is rather having a wealth of time or skills or food and being able to share them with ease makes one feel abundant.

This is one of the main reasons that I think people should grow cut flowers in their gardens. The more you cut the more you get and you end up with so many that you almost have to give them away.

Is there anything that makes you feel more wealthy, I wonder, than handing out bunches of home grown sweet peas to friends and neighbours?

It is certainly true that, if you are feeling impoverished, if the dogs of scarcity are nipping your heels, the quickest way out of it is to find something you can give to someone else.

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