W is for Well in your book. You've only seen a well in pictures. But a well is a very handy source of water for people in many parts of the world. When I was a kid, we used to spend our annual summer vacations in our ancestral home in Goa. Most people had a water well in their backyards. We didn't but we were always invited by our neighbours to draw from their wells.
I would enjoy drawing water from the well. Our neighbours were always amused at the sight of a city-bred girl taking such delight in so simple a chore. Somehow the water I drew out with my own effort always tasted sweeter. Or so I thought. That experience reminds me of today's lesson on Wealth.
I hope you always equate your true wealth with that which you have had to earn through sweat and effort. The water will taste sweeter. If you allow yourself to love money for its own sake, the water will never satisfy your thirst.
As a mother, I would like to see you settled financially. Money matters. But there are things that matter even more than money, and I don't want to see you unsettled regarding those.
I hope you never go hungry; that you always have bread to eat. And butter and jam too, and cake, when you want to celebrate the big and small milestones of life. But don't forget, my sweets, that the humblest meal, when you are hungry, can satisfy you more than caviar and champagne, and the biggest six-course spread.
Don't let your wealth be a measure of the gold and silver and the minted and printed currency you own. There are other kinds of wealth that will bring you more joy.
No matter how much money you have, may you count your true wealth as your family, your health, your faith, your memories, your physical strength and mental faculties, and the privilege of restful sleep after a hard day's work.
Your papa raised us to believe that a large library was also an indication of wealth. As was a happy family. And friendships. And happy marriages. And joy in the heart. When we were kids, he always encouraged us to learn newer things, insisting that learning was true wealth that never depreciated over time.
These are the things that no one can take away from you. These are the things that will last long after you lose money on the stock market. Inflation has no power over them.
I hope you earn your money through your own effort and hard work, but never at the cost of someone else's health and welfare.
Another thing, remember to diligently save money out of your earnings every month. Your Papa and Grandma taught me that. I know it's fashionable these days to talk of retail therapy as something that can magically make everything alright. But remember, whether those exorbitantly expensive shoes fill the hole in your heart or not, they can't prevent the hole from getting bigger. Until it consumes all of you and all you value besides.
My wish for you is that while you may have the convenience of the things that money can buy, you may never go without the comfort of the things it can't. May you always have enough to satisfy your needs, but not necessarily your wants. May you take delight in the simple pleasures of life and in the little you have. That is wealth enough.
The rest we must leave behind.
And yes, you are my wealth.
I'll see you tomorrow. We'll talk about the X-factor that everyone keeps harping about.