Who is rich??

Richness! What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of this word? Bill Gates is one of the richest men alive. Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire. Laxmi Mittal is one of the richest Indians. Shah Rukh Khan is one of the richest actors. So the question is who exactly is rich? Doesn’t this question boil down to each one’s notion of perceiving this concept? Richness in my opinion is a profound yet subjective term. For me apart from the renowned personalities, even my friend who has a bungalow and a Mercedes is rich. Forget alone a Merc, even if he has a car I will call him rich since for me being rich is being self-sufficient.

Now that’s another subjective term I used there. I could be content in a good house and a car, my friend on the other hand might not. He would wish to have three more such cars and may be live in a duplex in New York to feel content. For him he might not even be remotely close to richness currently. This definition of richness has evolved over time. It is surrounded by computations and mere calculations of one’s assets. The value of everything is found in the cost of each possessed luxury item. And with the ever-growing inflation, people are further being drifted towards becoming monetized and having a monetary benefit behind every purchase, transaction or action.

Money has certainly become the need of the hour. Someone needs it for his child’s education, someone needs it for his mother’s treatment, someone needs it to get settled and establish a living. It has indeed become a need. It has the power to meet the aspirations of the child, it has the power to save a dying patient and most importantly it now has the power to make someone happy. However, some people are casted by a shadow of its condescending stature. People then forget what is a need and bend down before it and make it their want. The moment this transformation takes place, it is the beginning of doom’s day. Rich businessmen gamble at posh casinos, rich families still continue to take dowries while getting their sons married, rich children often take to selling drugs for earning a few more pounds. All this for they are soaked in the fresh smell of money.

It is of utmost importance that we learn to live within our needs. The divide between the rich and poor continues to grow. The rich are never self-sufficient and the poor give up too soon amidst the richness they are surrounded by. There were saints like Buddha who gave up all their richness only to attain salvation. And then there are people like us who choose richness as a means to happiness. We must never forget that satisfaction should be met through the fulfillment of goals, ambitions, friends, family and love not through worldly desires, cravings and leisurely possessions. It is we who need to change our mentality to bring about a change in this world. If each person sees richness as the extent of satisfaction rather than money then the world will surely be molded into a world without class differences and status quo.

Damini Naidu

technology enthusiast, trained bharatnatyam dancer, past-time philosophical writer, movie buff

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