Wide Wealth (TM)

Appreciate the more than 40 kinds of wealth that you already have!

Summary: In most people’s minds wealth means money and possessions. But after thinking about it, we realized that everyone has over 40 kinds of wealth. A few examples would be: cherished memories, skills, whatever level of health you have, the beauty of nature, relationships, networking relationships that can lead to resources.

If people got in touch with all their kinds of wealth, they would be: 1) less envious of the rich; 2) more able to resist manipulation such as advertising; 3) more able to appreciate and enjoy all that they already have; 4) more likely to build on what they have, once they’ve appreciated it; 5) more likely to live in balance when they realize they are deficient in a certain kind of wealth; and 6) more resilient, once they understand that many kinds of wealth can be exchanged or traded — in ways similar to the obvious trading of time for money, or leaning on a friend to get you through a stressful time

Because it involves a radical re-definition of what wealth is, we consider Wide Wealth to be a potential major upgrade for humanity.

To begin to create an active relationship with the more than 40 kinds of wealth, we developed an exercise: You create an imaginary house or mansion (or several homes), with each room containing one form of wealth. For instance, in one room you would imagine pictures of the most important people in your life. (You would either create the houses online by cutting and pasting photos of rooms and mansions, or in a binder by cutting out photos of well-decorated rooms that you like and listing your wealth in each room.) In other rooms, you’d list and visualize the forms and amounts of wealth that you have.

This exercise can actually produces an attitude change. You feel wealthy. It can often boost self-esteem and self-worth.

This exercise is just the first of many potential methods to help people get in touch with all the forms of wealth that almost everyone has.

To introduce people to the concept we’re thinking of a video that could be used in a two-hour workshop in which people begin to build an imaginary mansion for themselves. Or this could turn into a self-help book. Each room in the mansion will contain one of the 40+ forms of wealth that most everyone has.] For the exercise, they must sketch out or download floor plans, so they can picture walking through their imaginary home. They must either collect pictures of rooms they like, or download them from the Internet. Since 40 rooms is even a lot for a mansion, participants can put some of the rooms on a yacht or private jet (or a tree house, summer home, condo, series of caves, house on the Moon — whatever strikes their fancy!)

The exercise would either result in a kind of scrap book, or a computer file with pictures and notes.

In each room they imagine a) the look of the room; b) a place to sit for themselves; and 3) the specific form of wide wealth, or some symbol. For instance, in the room for relationships, they could have photos of people they love.

After building the imaginary home(s), they are encouraged to visit a few rooms of their home each day, or at least weekly.

The goals of the exercise are to 1) cultivate an active appreciation of what you already have. 2) Increase a sense of self-esteem and self worth.  3) Eliminate the sense that you are impoverished or deprived.  4) Inspire people to better maintain or build on what they already have.

Obviously if someone really is in desperate need of food or medical treatment, or something essential, they will be unable to appreciate the other forms of wealth that people can have.

Some people might dismiss this concept as mostly fantasy, saying that in the “real world” money and possessions are what really matters. They might see this as artificial and creating a delusion that is mostly pretend. Having the imaginary homes is pretend, but that’s just to help people grasp that they really do have these forms of wealth. If you have about 40 kinds of wealth, the real delusion is to think that you only have two kinds of wealth, or a few kinds of wealth! The current reality is certain institutions (businesses, nonprofits, governments, etc.) artificially promote certain forms of wealth and that causes most people to think mainly or only in these categories.

Here are the first twenty kinds of wealth:

EXTERNAL

1. Money

2. Possessions

3. Job or income source.

4. People who love you, or care about you. Friends and loved ones.

5. People who you love or appreciate. Friends, teachers, even heroes you’ve never met.

6. The beauty of the natural world. The grace or personality of animals. Flower and plants. Smells. Tastes. Color. Your share of the natural world.

7. Infrastructure. In certain parts of the world, there are readily available fresh water, sanitary sewer systems and a variety of public services, hospitals, many offered for free or at low cost. There is also safety from invasion in some parts of the world.

8. Culture, language, cultural heritage and the arts. Language and culture often provides some of the context for a rich mental life. Public museums. Art openings and performances. Free public libraries.

9. Outer freedoms. Legal Rights. Sense of agency and having some control over your life. (No one has complete control.)

10. Role models (or bad examples of behavior to avoid.)  Mentors. (Borrowed experience!) Even from historical examples.

11. Time in the moment. Existential time because your body and mind exist in time.

INTERNAL

* BODY

12. Your body. Gives you the ability to feel pleasure and feelings.

13. Health and physical energy, if you are healthy.

14. Expected time remaining in your life. (A function of your body’s age.) So you’re in a sense richer if you’re younger.

15. Good looks or physical assets (voice, strength) if you have them.

16. Your sexuality.

* MIND

17. Knowledge. Practical Knowledge. Perspectives (Ways of looking at things.)

18. Intelligence if you have it. An ability to reason, make good judgments, think logically. (Kinds of intelligence). Ability to solve problems.  (Some lack of natural abilities can be offset by learning skills and formal methods (#20 below.)

19. Creativity. Talent. It’s different than intelligence. People who are creative can make many things: art, music, inventions, literature, and so forth.

20. Skills. Informal know-how and also formal certifications and degrees. Some skills give you the ability to earn money.

 

Plans and Needs: Create a workshop to refine the concept, and then create a video to share the idea. In the future create a cell phone application. We plan to trademark or service mark Wide Wealth (TM or SM)

Potential Impacts: 1) Increased happiness and fulfillment in the world by helping people appreciate what they already have. 2) Better conservation of natural resources by reducing consumption. (Although reduced consumption might decrease economic demand for some goods, projects such as Helper’s Helper are expected to more than offset any loss of jobs by increasing employment in the nonprofit sector.)

 


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