“The Greatest Man in History was also the Poorest.” – Emerson

Whether Mr. Emerson is talking about Jesus, , Buddha, Gandhi, St. Francis of Assisi – who knows.  As far as I’m aware, none of them had a single dollar to their name, or a single coin for that matter.  These men all realized the incredible value of that which rests beyond the wealth of the world, dwelling peacefully inside each and every one of us.

I shared this quote with my dad this morning.  His response: “I don’t think that’s true at all.  Jesus was abundantly rich with his spirituality, relationship with God, and friends.”  True!  Yes indeed, no arguing that.  Of course, I don’t think Mr. Emerson was referring to those higher forms of riches when he claimed that he was “also the poorest.”  Emerson must have been referring to the material wealth of the man, for if you look at the spiritual wealth which Jesus possessed, surely he was the richest man on earth!

How do you define rich?  This question was shared with me and my fellow graduates at Wake Forest by the CEO of Habitat for Humanity, Jonathan Reckford.  Answering this question is vitally important for each one of us in establishing what we value.  For, as Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”  If we place our values in material objects, than that is our reward.  If, on the other hand, we find our treasures in loving relationships, Peace of Mind, Mother Nature, Spirituality, the imagination, learning and growth – these are all treasures we have access to at all times.  What wonderful gifts!  So if we choose to value these infinitely accessible treasures, then suddenly we’ll realize that we are surrounded by riches each and every moment.

Certainly, Jesus was poor in the material sense.  But, he was absurdly, ridiculously, abundantly wealthy in the sense that matters most for creating enduring fulfillment in Life.  He stored up his treasures in Heaven, in the eternal gifts of Life.  Transcending fear and attachment, he discovered some of the greatest truths of history and a Peace of Heart and Mind unequaled.

If we really want to live a more fulfilling life, all we need to do is look to some of the great men and women from history and listen to the story.  Aristotle determined the purpose of education is to elevate preferences.  In this way, if we educate ourselves as to the stories of the heroes of history, we can elevate our preferences and begin to value that which is truly meaningful.

One of the greatest gift we’re given as human beings is the Mind, or Consciousness.  Yet, often we forget how miraculous we really are and resort to activities that lower our consciousness and squash our intellects.  Studies show that watching television, drinking alcohol, and a sedentary lifestyle all have detrimental effects to the health of the body and the brain.  Similarly, looking at the life of Jesus – you’d find he didn’t watch must television either. 😉

Pathways to living greater, happier, more fulfilling, peaceful, and joyous lives have been known to many of us since our early youth.  Of course, because our parents encouraged us to read and to play outside and socialize, we might have done the exact opposite.  At least, that’s the story of much of my younger days.  However, we all reach a point in our lives where we can accept the wisdom of our parents and the wisdom of the great men and women of history.  By accepting the wisdom and doing our best to live this wisdom, we’ll slowly but surely begin living the wonderful life that we are so worthy of.

If you are already living this wonderful life, as I know many of you are, keep sharing the joy with others.  Calling attention to the beauty of Nature or how good it feels just to breathe can be a good place start.  Also, one of my favorites, express gratitude all the time!  Acknowledge the abundance all around.

Speaking of which…I am grateful for this abundance!  Hallelujah 🙂

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