Measuring Wealth

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What’s it worth?
For years, I have taught a gem from the Talmud (Pirkei Avot 4:1a) that addresses worth:

Who is rich? Whoever is happy with what they have.

Isn’t that brilliant? If you are fine with what you have, you are wealthy.
My students, in return, have taught me equally brilliant variants:

  • Some people are so poor that all they have is money
  • The rich aren’t the people who have the most; they’re the people who need the least
  • The most valuable things in life are the things you can’t buy

How true! How true!
These variations bring me to what Jesus (Matthew 6:19) said:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Instead of lambasting me as a rabbi for quoting Jesus, simply unsubscribe from the mailing list.
It would be a ridiculous exercise to attempt to put a numerical dollar value on friendship, evoking a smile, feeling satisfaction
Social economist Dan Ariely talks about this in the opening of his book Predictably Irrational. He writes that no one would take out their wallet after Thanksgiving dinner and ask the host, “So, how much do I owe you for my share?”
As William Bruce Cameron said, “not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

  • Bricks can be quantified; love cannot.
  • Hours and dollars can be quantified; value cannot.
  • Test scores can be quantified; learning and wisdom cannot.
  • Attendance at houses of worship be quantified; love of God cannot.
  • Bible literacy can be quantified; kindness cannot.
  • Orthodoxy can be quantified; spirituality cannot.

While there certainly is a price of not being wise, how does one quantify the cost benefits of compassion, empowerment, and mindfulness?
#wisdom_biscuit: Be blessed with what you have.

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