Giving Thanks: A Wealth Perspective

It’s hard to believe the Thanksgiving season is upon us once again. Everyone I talk to says the same thing … “Where did the year go?” “How can it be the holidays already?” Which is inevitably followed by some expression like, “I just don’t have enough time anymore.”

For anyone who has ever uttered the words, “I don’t have enough time…or money,” may I recommend a great read for the holidays? Author and activist Lynn Twist talks about this feeling and other misunderstandings about resources including wealth and talent, in her book The Soul of Money.

I must admit that when I first started reading the book at the urging of a respected colleague, I was in the middle of three other heavy reads on strategy, finance and global politics. When I began the book, my initial thought was nothing more than, “I am reading this as a favor to a friend so we can discuss it over lunch.” That was until I began to absorb the profound truths in the book.

Just one thought to whet your appetite and perhaps cause you to pause and reflect this busy season:

“When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have, When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.”

Lynn and I share the common experience of asking those with means to help those with less. Along the way I began to sense what she has so beautifully articulated. Wealth is not happiness assured. In fact, if not used properly, wealth can be a prison of sorts; an isolating demographic prison. On the other hand, wealth that flows from your hand to a hand in need, creates a balance and joy that really cannot be fully described. And lest I be less-than-true to Lynn’s writings, wealth is not always money. I too see people who have no more than anyone else…often less, give of money, time and talent in a way that belies their income level.

We can all help others. There is always someone less fortunate than we are. We all have something to give. We can all experience a richer life through lending a hand to others. This holiday season, as we consider the challenges, the economy, the world unrest, please do not forget to take the time to consider all that you do have. You will discover wealth. And if you cannot see this perspective, you must read Lynn’s book without delay!

Happy Thanksgiving.    

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