Does Being Rich Mean You Have Money, or a Really Loving Family?

Imagine a situation for me: you’re at a cliff. Behind you — wall of fire, and ahead of you — the devil claiming you only get to live if you truly answer what makes you rich.

Many people argue that there is no right way to answer this question. But with affirmation, I will say there is. The flaunting of designer brands, a fancy car or gourmet foods does not mean you’re rich. Yes, it means you have money to spend. But it doesn’t make you rich.

Rich is a state of mind that says:

I have a wonderful family by my side I have food on the table to share it with my loved ones I have friends that hold me up when I feel down I have a best-friend that I can spend my life with forever

These affirmations help you understand what wealth truly means. It means to live, laugh and love without any hang-ups. It means to have a support system, your close tribe, and your loved ones by your side to have and to hold, to love forever. Forgive me, festive seasons bring out a bit of mush from my insides. I turn into a marshmallow for those I love, and pamper them endlessly. With gifts, with love, with wonderfully cooked meals, a warm hug and a few cuddles (sometimes, a lot!).

I keep coming across memes on Instagram that say I’d rather be sad in a Mercedes, than in a Honda. But, my argument to this is: sadness is sadness. How is Mercedes helping you overcome it? Don’t you need people to rationalize your feelings? Or, is the engine going to rev and make you smile?

Now, my geek-side argues to this saying, “Buddy, if this was KITT, you’d be smiling!”. But I say back, “Shut up, we all know KITT is only for Hasselhof. No one’s got a living car with them!”.

Aha, now you understand how a material item can’t give you happiness, do you? It took me 27 years of living (let’s excuse years 1 through 10, because I had no idea how the world worked), so technically about 15–17 years to understand that it doesn’t matter how many shoes I buy, or the collection of watches I build, that is going to guarantee that I will live a fulfilled life. No. It is the people that I have around me. The family, the friends and the strangers that I live in harmony with.

In books and poetry lies soul. Words have a way of leaving their trail in our hearts. Just like music, they are something we remember forever. Make sure they are lovely, at the most. Last year, when I moved out to find peace and space, I only found space and a lot of time to read. Peace, I realized, lied within the people I love. And despite having my own apartment; for me, ‘home’ is my father, mother, sister and my best-friend. It is not a place. It resides in these three parts of my whole heart. It resides in my ‘Nani’ who left this world 16 years ago, but still lives on in our hearts.

Home and happiness is always in the people we hold close to our hearts. It is in the trees around us, in the rustling of the leaves on our feet, the stray dog running to you with excitement as you take groceries home, or simply the little children you see at beaches, roadsides and gardens who don’t have a care in the world about what is going to hit them in adulthood. Pure joy, excitement, smiles and laughter. These are the things I live for.

It’s in the eagerness on my dad’s face when a bowl of Shahi Paneer comes in front of him, handmade by his daughter. Or the smile on mom’s face when a few chores are taken up by her kids on a tough day. Or simply the excitement in our grandparents’ faces when we surprise them with a quick visit. It adds just that much more love in this world, and our world definitely needs a ton of love. Time to start sharing, my friend. Mental & emotional balance trumps bank balances in this day and age!

Week 51, December ‘20

Originally published at https://www.roadfolkmag.com on December 18, 2020.

based on a true story; sort of.

based on a true story; sort of.