Three fundamental questions


How much wealth is enough? John Bogle, Vanguard founder, shared this story, at a party given by a billionaire, Kurt Vonnegut informed his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel, Catch-22.
Heller responded, “Yes, but I have something he will never have … enough.”
Enough. I was stunned by the simple eloquence of that word – stunned for two reasons: first, because I have been given so much in my own life and second, because Heller couldn’t have been more accurate.
How much you want is your decision alone? If you are working for wealth, you’ll be forever working, but if you are working on what you care about, you never really work a day in your life. If you are happy wherever you are in your life, you must be doing something right. Trust yourself.
Isn’t wisdom the ultimate wealth? The very notion of ultimate wealth is fallacious, for, what is ultimate is relative to the subject, object, and circumstances. Truth is relative. When you are sick, immunity is ultimate wealth. If you are lonely, love is the wealth you need.
The nature of wealth you require depends on challenges you are facing. Doubtless, wisdom and contentment will help, but if you are starving, food alone will appease your hunger.
Just look at the amount of religion and wisdom we have in our country. Has it lifted the country out of poverty? Material wealth is also important to human progress. Krishna would not have asked Arjuna to fight on, and Vedas would not have put Artha, economic progress, in the four endeavours of human existence, had there been a substitute.
We’d never know how fettered we are until we sever our ties with objects of attachments. Objects are not good or bad on their own. Wealth is an enabler, catalyst, even a validation of your wisdom.
By Om Swami


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