To look at reggae singer and Rastifarian Bob Marley and me, you’d find little outward similarity. We arose out of different cultures, different countries and completely different lifestyles.
You would, however, find something profound: Commonality of thought.
I discovered Bob Marley’s quote about wealth and greatness soon after writing a New Year’s blog entitled, Happiness Key: Your Personal Wealth. Marley’s quote didn’t make it into my post but is standing on its own today as further reflection of what exactly constitutes personal wealth.
Wealth can be viewed as inwardly substantive, outwardly manifest, or both.
References to wealth and money are often used interchangeably but can create the misunderstanding that one’s true greatness is derived from money.
That’s why Bob Marley’s quote provides an apt point of reference.
The Jamaican-born musician and philosopher made the distinction that wealth – as opposed to money – comes from within us. It’s cultivated and exercised through a mindset which results in our creating a positive impact upon other people’s lives.
For Bob Marley, greatness and wealth is intrinsic; it’s a measure of inward integrity rather than something acquired externally.
I’ve had an awareness of money since childhood. I grew up in the early 1960s when cash — rather than checks and other digital forms of credit — was the common method of exchange.
Back then, I could easily appreciate and understand the practical use of money. Money could buy things like candy and movie tickets, clothing, cars and houses.
What I failed to understand was a magical power some ascribed to money. I noted children and, more surprisingly, adults who believed that money could supernaturally convey upon them intangible attributes like respect or honor among peers.
We took a family vacation to Washington, D. C. when I was very young. I remember spending an exciting few days touring legendary sites at our nation’s capitol: the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, Ford’s Theater and the U.S. Department of Treasury.
That early tour of the U. S. printing press proved noteworthy, revealing where money actually comes from: The Money Factory.
The child in me marveled at the sound and weight of the Treasury Department’s massive steel machines and the power and rapidity of their printing. I learned about a sophisticated process involving special color dyes, unique serial numbers and paper that was slightly akin to fabric.
The tour was fascinating and I was awed by the process, but I was unaffected by magic. My eyes registered green-printed, functional paper rather than an accumulation of true wealth.
Are you seeking greatness and wealth?
You can seek greatness and wealth through money or in the cultivation and outworking of your integrity to positively affect others around you.
The latter may deliver you the former but don’t always expect the former to deliver you the latter!
If it’s true wealth and greatness you’re seeking, spend some time reflecting upon Bob Marley’s quote. It’s one of many he has created to invite pleasant introspection and conscious, personal advancement.
Wishing you the greatness that brings wealth of a different kind – and more happiness in your life, too!
Maura Sweeney is a Podcaster, Author and Speaker
Her mantra is “Living Happy – Inside Out!”
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