Globalisation and trans country migrations arise from the notion that doing business with or moving to greener pastures would not only aid material prosperity but also enable the accumulation of inner wealth.
But some of us do know that just changing the outer circumstances of our life does not bring inner peace; neither does it bring us freedom from conflict. In fact many who emigrate, find a new set of problems and a new set of inner conflicts to resolve. All this is part of life.
Inner wealth is far removed from the consumerist dream of having more and making that the norm for experiencing happiness. Life is all about challenge and growing in inner strength. So, just a change of place might not bring the desired results. We don’t need to live in a palace to realise and arrive at the inner wealth that comes from hard work, discipline, moderation, remaining calm and finding an inner equilibrium that makes us rich on the inside.
There is a parable in the Gospels comparing the kingdom of heaven to a merchant who found a pearl of great price and having found it, sold all that he had for that pearl of great price. Once we experience inner wealth, we will no more want to cling to all our possessions and will give up many of our ambitions to be the first and the best. Our focus will shift from ourselves to the other – how we can reach out to people and help others in concrete ways.
Charity, true charity, is not about giving to others from a position of superiority. The kind of giving that people practice can be demeaning if we look down on those we help, whether monetarily, emotionally or psychologically. On the contrary, if we have found or cultivated inner wisdom and resources to become real givers, we will experience an inner peace that comes from the knowledge that real life is not just for some, but, for all, without exception.
Sometimes, inner wealth comes with maturity. Once we become aware of our human weaknesses and failures, we are more accepting of weaknesses in others. We become more tolerant, more open, and look at our neighbours in a different way.
Tolerance and acceptance are attributes that enrich inner wealth. Sometimes, we have the sinking feeling that things are going all wrong and we have no control over the way the world is unfolding. We experience a sense of alienation from this world, but have not yet shored up our inner resources to make a difference.
We could begin with small things in our life. Today, we could do something different like seeing people and situations with more understanding. We might give a listening ear to those who wish to be heard. We might start looking at other perspectives with respect.
It is never too late to create inner wealth. We can begin at any age and time of our lives. Once our hearts and minds are open and our prime motivator in living becomes spiritual rather than just material, we will find that the core of our inner being changes. We can then strike ‘gold’ in our spiritual lives. We will however, have to change the nature of our search to find that pearl of great price!