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Material Wealth Very often, in our pursuits for material comfort, we neglect our spiritual and emotional well-beings. Who can blame Singaporeans for being so overly obsessed with material wealth? In Singapore, we are socially conditioned to equate success with driving a big car, owning a private property and vacationing overseas twice a year. Such a narrow minded definition of success results in us becoming a nation with no souls. That is not to say, material wealth is bad. We need money to pay, among other things, grocery, mortgage installment, children education fees and utility bill. In fact, material wealth is the foundation of spiritual wealth. A person who is struggling to make ends meet will be in no mood to care about his spiritual health. A certain amount of material wealth is necessary unless you live in Mars or Venus. The problem with material wealth lies in human nature to desire for more, better and bigger things. In our desire for more material wealth, people with not so strong moral values will trade their integrity for greater material comforts. News of lawyers misappropriating clients’ funds and doctors prescribing drugs indiscriminately to patients are often reported in the media. These two professions are highly regarded in our society who commands a premium for their service. They are drawing a decent income and living a comfortable lifestyle. It is the human nature of greed that brought their downfall.
Spiritual Wealth Here is where spiritual and emotional wealth comes in. Spiritual wealth is not defined in terms of dollars and cents. It has no material value. It is something that no amount of money in the world can buy. If only those people, who committed fraud or acted unethically in their business dealings, acquire sufficient spiritual wealth, they will realize that money is not everything in life. The following phrases sum it up best:
Money can buy you house but not home Money can buy you bed but not sleep Money can buy you medicine but not health Money can buy you blood but not life Money can buy you girl but not love Money can buy you amusements but not happiness Money can buy you books but not wisdom Money can buy you clock but not more time Money can buy you companions but not friends Money can buy you food but not appetite Money can buy you a ring but not a marriage
Emotional Wealth People are emotional beings. The stock market is driven by emotions of greed and fear. The same greed emotion is driving some people to act dishonestly or commit theft. Emotional wealth is really about acquiring positive traits associated with personal success. Positive attitude, self-discipline and wisdom are some of the emotional wealth that we should aspire to have. It is your attitude that determines your success in both work and personal life. A cliché but it is absolutely applicable in real life. Your attitude determines your altitude. Being self-discipline requires you to do things that are necessary, however unpleasant they may be, to accomplishing your predetermined goal. You make a plan and diligently carry out the tasks as outlined that will bring you closer to your dream. A self-discipline person has his mind set firmly on the big picture and will not give in to short term gratifications that will distract him from the path of success. In today’s knowledge-based economy, wisdom of knowledge is crucial to our success. Knowledge is priceless. Someone can steal your wallet and other personal belongings but not your knowledge. With applied knowledge, we can achieve greater heights in both our professional and personal life.
In summary, we should strive for a balance between the three wealth: material, spiritual and emotional wealth. Life will be more balanced and fulfilled if we possess all the three wealth.