Sunday, November 6, 2011

Definition essay: Wealth

In today's society, when a person speaks of wealth, they are usually referring to having a rather large amount of money, being rich. When you Google search "wealthiest men in the world", people such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are the top hits. But whatever happened to wealth being more than just money, but more along the lines of a loving family and caring friends? A person's wealth is not defined by the amount of money they have saved up in the bank, or how fat their wallet is. Being wealthy is when a person is blessed to have a family that loves and cares about them, with an abundance of friends who feel the same way.
            Wealth and happiness sort of go arm-in-arm if you think about it. People believe that if you are wealthy, you are happy, which is true only if your view on wealth is having a good family. If you really sat down and thought about it, the majority of people's main goal in life is to accumulate as much money as they can in their relatively short existence to try to be happy. Money is their key to everything. That new, fancy, do-it-all car they "have to have", the newest, fastest phone, it all costs money, yet what personal value does it have? They are just objects of which you waste countless hours of your life occupying yourself with. Heck, some see money as a way to get them a wife, which, sadly, is true these days, as young women go around looking for rich old men to marry, they're only reason being that they will receive the old man's fortune once he passes. People seem to think that the more money they have, the more fun they'll have in life, and the more of a chance they have of being remembered. However, who will possess and pass down all those memories of you and your life to future generations? Family or money? Last time I checked, money could not speak. So what will be more useful as you near the end of your life, money or a compassionate family? When the game of life begins the final home stretch, memory begins to fade, aches and pains are newly discovered every morning as it takes multiple frustrating attempts to climb out of bed, and everything just seems to be going wrong, the support and compassion of your wealth of family and friends is the only antidote.
            I read a book, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, in which the main character, Amir, is born into a rich family. His father is a highly respected man in the Afghan society and money flows into their household. With this abundance of money, Amir has the ability to buy pretty much anything his little heart desires, yet he is still incredibly unhappy. His mother died when he was born, for the most part his father views him as a disappointment, and the rest of his family does not appreciate him. The only time he is truly happy is when he becomes truly wealthy, when he and his father move to America. Upon arriving in the United States, Amir and his father were completely broke. As Amir was more of a grown up now, his father began to respect him and treat him as an equal. He began to show compassion toward Amir and their relationship grew. They immediately began to work in order to support themselves as best they could in their economic situation. They lived in a bus that they also drove around during the day to flea markets to buy items they could then go sell. At one particular flea market Amir meets a woman whom he ends up marrying. When Amir marries this particular woman, he has almost no money, but his wife and father both loved him, and he became a truly wealthy man.
            Though I have no income besides the weekly ten dollars I receive for yard work each weekend, which I usually end up spending by the end of that weekend anyway, I would have to say I view myself as wealthy. I'm happy to say that I have three pairs of grandparents, a couple aunts and uncles, a few cousins and a couple great-grandparents on my list of family members, and each one of those individuals cares for me as much as the other, and as much as I care for them. I know that no matter how messy the situation or how severe the problem, I have someone I can turn to in my family for good, quality advice. I have a pair of grandparents who live a mere two minutes away if something goes wrong and my parents are not there to take care of it. Another pair of grandparents lives almost eight hours away, yet they will drive those eight hours just so they can see me run a race for 16 minutes. My aunt and uncle live in Ohio, yet they still find a way to come all the way across the country every other Christmas just to spend time with me. My other uncle worked all night at the hospital, and on not a minute of sleep, drove all the way out to my house because he refused to miss my birthday party. On my last day of school in second grade, I walked out to where my mother would usually pick me up to find my aunt, who lived in Louisiana at the time, waiting to pick me up. She came from Louisiana for my last day of school all because she missed me. I have friends who would kill to have a family like mine.
            Situations such as the ones stated above show a family that deeply loves and cares for one another. They are a prime example of what being wealthy is all about: loving family members who will go out of their way to do anything and everything just to make sure you and everything in your life is okay.

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