Monday, April 8, 2013

You Are RICH! Seriously.

A few facts, which might help us be thankful today.

Below is a chart of US annual income figures and where that income level rests on the global scale of income.
  • $1,000 - TOP 44.1% richest people in the world!
  • $5,000 - TOP 14.39% richest people in the world!
  • $10,000 - TOP 13.31% richest people in the world! 
  • $20,000 - TOP 11.16% richest people in the world! 
  • $30,000 - TOP 7.16% richest people in the world!
  • $40,000 - TOP 3.17% richest people in the world! 
  • $50,000 - TOP .98% richest people in the world! 
  • $75,000 - TOP .82% richest people in the world! 
  • $100,000 - TOP .66% richest people in the world! 
  • $250,000 (and up) - TOP .001% richest people in the world! 
I frequently hear college students say they are "poor" or that they don't "have any money". Both really bother me. Being in college may not be the high-life of western civilization for most, but it definitely isn't living in a shack, the likes of which can be found a few miles down the road in any city in this country. Even less is the "poverty" the likes of what is in the picture above - found in the Philippines.
But, I digress.

Do college students make some sacrifices. I would say yes. Yet, it is more the lack of sacrifice that most Americans have had to endure, rather than the true lack of money that is what causes the attitude of "poverty". I work for the Catholic Church. I don't make a lot of money compared to the average person in a similar position in the secular world. But, I do not call myself poor, because I am not. I am able to comfortably provide for my family and myself. We live in a nice house, we eat well and we have good clothes. Money is tight sometimes, but I am ashamed when I say things like "I am broke". Because I haven't missed a meal because of a lack of food ever in my life.

So, I thought I would count up some of my blessing and I invite everyone else to do the same.
  • I know Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, personally.
  • I have the fullness of the grace and truth of Christ offered to me through the Catholic Church. 
  • I have a wonderful family. 
  • I have my health. 
  • I have a great job. 
  • I have had a great education. 
  • I have great friends. 
  • I can read, walk, see, hear, think, etc. 
  • I can worship how I like. 
  • I can post my opinion on the internet unlike others who are restricted by their government. 
  • I can vote. 
  • etc
I am very RICH.
You are rich as well. But, to understand that you are "rich" might take an attitude adjustment and/ or a few changes in lifestyle.

If you are a college student who doesn't have a lot of money - please don't complain about eating Ramen noodles (few do nowadays anyway). Don't complain about not being able to by the newest tech toy. Learn to live without. Learn to be satisfied and content with what you need, not what you desire. Peace can be found in such an attitude.

An attitude change that can help is to foster the attitude of abundance vs. the attitude of poverty.

If you want to develop this kind of attitude, then do a few things.
  • Ask God to give you this grace. 
  • Stop complaining about what you don't have. 
  • Start appreciating more what you do have. 
  • Live off of a budget. 
  • Start tithing something until you can tithe 10% at some point later.
When I talk to college students about budgeting I challenge them to track their expenses and see where they could make one sacrifice to then offer the money to a charity or give to their parish. A few years ago, one student found she was spending a ton of money on coffee at Starbucks. She cut back and started a regular donation to her parish. It is as easy as that.

That is, if you want to realize you are already very rich.

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