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Grateful... or Dead

I recently read an article calculating the 'wealth number' of a person. It took into account the liabilities of a person along with their earnings and investments and came up with a number capturing their 'wealth'. What stood out to me more than the factors making up each number or bracket was the amount of people falling into this bracket.

The chart that shows the different categories and what amount of population falls into them is jarring and truly makes you feel grateful about your situation whatever it may be.

If you are living in a house or apartment that you own, you are part of the 436 million people in the world who can afford to do so. The current world population is 7.7 BILLION as reported by United Nations. That means you make up a trivial 5.7% of the world population and the remaining 94% CANNOT afford to own a home (or may even have a place to call home).

As you go down the list (or up the wealth factor), you realize that if you are planning on owning a second home by the beach or a third home elsewhere, you become the crème de la crème of society. Until you end up at the top - where there are currently only 2!

Our current world view is of capitalism, constant expansion and racing to the top, but this puts things in major perspective - at least for me. The people associated with the wealth factors of 6, 7, 8, and even 9 are known for the things they do for themselves mostly - their names on a building or even their philanthropic efforts are usually in the form of a foundation that echoes their name.

Once you get past the $10 billion mark, you are beyond making your name known. People already know you so you get past the trappings of societal expectations and aim for the very stars. Instead of making yourself known to this generation of people, you aim to make things better for the many future generations.

If we could cultivate this same sense of giving in the 436 million people who own their homes, and help it trickle down to the other wealth brackets, we could make a dent in the world's problems. We could shift our mind set from 'me and mine' to 'us and ours' and it would bring about a strong change for all.

Instead we, similar to the generations before us, are the 436 million who strive to get into increasingly high tax brackets in this endless marathon called life knowing that slowing down, being grateful and giving back is better than running till we die.

Read the article and decide for yourself…

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