It's Not How Much Money You Make, It's How Much of a Difference You Make!

Human beings exhibit a fascinating range of behaviors, which never cease to intrigue me.  One thing you may have noticed is that inhabitants in the human kingdom are impressed by the almighty buck.  Perhaps you are one of them.  Whether you struggle to make enough of it, or wish to amass large quantities of it, there is no denying that money (or lack thereof) affects us all.  Nobody could deny that the more access to monetary resources one has, the more access to power they seem to have. Money makes the world go around. 

And yet, money, in it's infinite ability to buy things, gain access to resources and people and places...has absolutely no power when it comes to our happiness.  None.  That is an inside job.

Having worked with people who have amassed many riches, as well as with those whom live in abject poverty...I can in good faith say that money cannot buy happiness.  I have met those with much, whose hearts are empty of joy and meaning...and those who have little who seem to have discovered the secret to happiness, despite every kind of factor that might prevent it.

Still, it has never failed to amaze me the number of people who ask (either out loud, or silenty to themselves)...hmmmm...."I wonder how much money that person makes?"  We, as a people, are intrigued, if not sometimes envious of the homes that other people live in, the cars they drive, the clothing they don, and the like. 

So, the next time you find yourself caught up in wondering, "How much money does that person or family make?", you might do yourself a favor by switching that question up and asking, "How much of a difference does that person/family make?"  Perhaps that's a better starting place for all of us. 

Not many of us will have unlimited access to financial resources in our lifetimes, but all of us have access to being able to help others in an unlimited capacity.  What if we measured success by how much of a difference a person makes, rather than how much money they make? 

What do you think?


Here is a post from Lorraine, who asked me to post it for her, as she was unable to do so d/t some glitch in the system:

This is a very profound post that you've written Wendy. To me, it's important to understand the motive behind someone's desire to achieve wealth. The poorest, rich person is one who makes money for strictly selfish purposes and acts miserly towards others.

Hoarding those financial blessings without regard towards the needs of others can become almost like a sickness.

To me, a rich person is someone who understands that money is merely a tool and also understands that what you do with it, really matters. Scripture from the Christian Holy Bible speaks of those individuals to whom much is says that much will be expected from them in return.

One doesn't have to look to far to discover someone, in your circle of influence, who would benefit from you taking an action that can make a difference to another person.

What brings real satisfaction & contentment in life, is being aware of our responsibility towards others who are less fortunate or struggling in some way; and, by being willing to do good things for others with the blessings in your life, both financial & otherwise. Many people think that money is
the answer; when in fact, it is more important to be willing to serve others. Often, it takes nothing more than a willingness to listen, give a little time, share some knowledge, or donate a skill to another person to change their life circumstance, in a way that positively impacts them.

Then again, a smile can sometimes do more good for another human being than the greatest act of charity.

Society is becoming a very negative place and many people feel powerless and defeated in every area of their lives. It doesn't have to be that way though, once we realize that we have the power to make a difference by encouraging one another to work together, accomplishing even the simplest deeds.

Understanding that... can change the world in a very real way. The challenge is, discovering what good you cando each and every day, that can make a difference to improve the lives of the people you come in contact with!

Well put, Lorraine. It has been said that money is the root of all evil. I don't believe that to be true. It is what humans choose to do (or not do) with that money that makes all the difference!
For some reason, this post is not allowing people to add comments. Here is another comment that was emailed to me by Louise Sattler or :

I love this blog and want to second your sentiments. It reminds me of how many families I have worked with as a psychologist over the years. Socio-economic status usually was not a factor in most of what I handled other than getting money for services for children. What I found was that people were just as likely to have problems or lead successful and happy lives despite if their families lived in a mobile home or a McMansion. Communication breakdown was usually the core of most problems. My recommendation was to open the lines of communication between parent and child (and between the spouses, too) by using natural opportunities such as car rides, waiting in supermarket lines or meal time to take a moment and chat with a child. Make family life fun and set the tone for your home to be inviting for others to come. Foster communication and LISTEN to children- they are often so wise!

Also, I believe in the Jewish philosophy that dates way back to the Torah. It is "Tikkun Olam" meaning an obligation to repair the world we live in. I hope that people will offer "tikkun olam" in their own neighborhoods with giving not only money but better yet your time! Volunteerism can be worth much more than the money in your wallet to a school child needing a mentor, the senior who needs a ride to the doctors office, or the sports team that is looking for some extra hands to help.

Thanks for reading.... just say'in.

And thanks for writing again another thought provoking blog!

(Note: Louise is a person who is a total giver. When the tsunami hit in Japan, Louise had "signs" up within hours, to help emergency responsders deal with non-hearing and hard of hearing individuals during the tragedy. Did she have to do this? NO! She did it because she is one of those persons who makes a difference!)

First off, Happy Birthday! Second of all, thanks for sharing the concept of "Tikkun Olam"! We could all use and give a little more of that! I LOVE that!


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