The Meaning of Wealth in Different Societies

The Meaning of Wealth in Different Societies

The ability to create wealth has been essential to mankind since the dawn of civilization. We see many people walking around with plenty of money, but very few are able to see where it all goes down. True wealth creation is based on creating value for yourself. A lot of what we think of as wealth is actually nothing more than fancy and pretty packaging.

Wealth to most people would be the total wealth of an individual or family. However, this definition is very narrow as it usually only includes material possessions. Additionally, we tend to narrow the definition even more by defining wealth as the ability to purchase material objects, which automatically excludes those with less money than us.

The most important asset any of us could possess is our health. No other possession is as important as health, because we will always need to eat and sleep. Our bodies are our most valuable asset and most of us cannot survive without it. Therefore, the third definition of wealth which is also the most strict is not having to eat and sleep, and yet we still survive. This is why I like to use the word abundance, which when defined as “having a surplus of something” comes in at a much lower number than the first two.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to define wealth is “what you have.” The problem with this modern mindset is that most of us are taught and socialized to think in terms of dollars and cents. We are taught that if we have a lot of things, that means we are wealthy. The problem with this standard is that it often times creates empty beliefs and in turn creates empty realities. If your reality is based on dollars and cents then you are probably living in a society where you are only worth about 2 dollars per day or even less.

One way to get around this is to begin to compare possessions by using a different definition for wealth. For instance, in some different societies, it would be considered more worthy to have twenty houses than it would be to have ten. Because you are considering possession to be wealth, then you are missing out on many possibilities. Most people would immediately think that if they owned twenty houses that would qualify them as very wealthy but the truth is there are many different things that can qualify as being wealth.

Also, another way of thinking about wealth is through the lens of the ‘royals’. When comparing wealth with royalty, it is important to remember that they all had their possessions, not simply their wealth. For example, in many different societies, it would be considered very wealthy to have a hundred horses rather than just one. By using these different definitions you can begin to realize that wealth is a much more complicated subject than most of us tend to think it is.

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