What is true wealth?

On Good Friday this year, Tiziana Marrone’s husband died after setting fire to himself in front of the tax office inBologna,Italy. Less than a month later she led a march of the grieving wives and family members of more than 25 Italian businessmen who had committed suicide because of inability to pay tax debts. The White Widows, as they are called, were protesting that the government was failing to help ordinary people who had no work and yet were still being asked to pay high taxes.

Our hearts go out to people who are experiencing such suffering. As the old financial structures topple, they are the vanguard for us all. However, greed, excess and a culture of endless shopping has had its empty way for long enough. 2012 is proving a testing time for many. Our authenticity is being challenged and we need to be brave.

It is important that we remind ourselves of the true definition of wealth. For example, did you know that if we have a roof over our heads and food in the cupboard, we are in the top 8% of the world financially?

Gratitude for what we have rather than fear of what we don’t have is the only way through the fear which creates prosperity consciousness. Apparently, there is enough abundance in the world to make every single personally wealthy. We just have to find a way of being able to receive it. Strangely, it is possible to predict how much a person will earn just by observing their attitude towards how much they think they are worth.

I was reminded of my own wealth last weekend when the husband of the girl I lived with at University arranged for me to surprise her at a hotel. I crept up behind her, put my hands over her eyes and whispered in her ear. The look on her face was priceless – we hadn’t seen each other for years – and she actually cried from joy. I felt enormously privileged and rich to be the focus of such a response.

So, before you allow yourself to slide into the slough of financial despond, first look around you and appreciate what you have got. You may well realise that you are rich beyond belief.

While it is only right that we honour the stand that the brave people like Tiziana Marrone and her husband have taken, it is also imperative that we do our part in creating a simpler, fairer world in which everyone can have enough and where poverty will be a thing of the past. To do that we need to question our own values and what we find valuable. 

With gratitude and love, Laurelle