January 31 – The true measure of wealth

“Each of us will one day be judged by our standard of life, not by our standard of living; by our measure of giving, not by our measure of wealth; by our simple goodness, not by seeming greatness.” (William Arthur Ward)

Never has there been an armored car full of money in a funeral. When I am gone from this life, I won’t be measured by how much I have, or what material things I have gained. No, I will be measured – both here and in the hereafter – by the difference I made in this life.

Going through life, I have learned that I am richest when I have been there for a friend or family member, comforted someone who was hurting, and celebrated with someone’s triumphs. That richness of spirit fills me, and enriches those around me. To me, this has always been far more important than the “things” of life.

To fully understand this, I have to look into my soul and see that where I am making a difference in the lives around me. With my family, the effects are more apparent. But, with my friends and co-workers I am also making a difference. Sometimes in day-to-day living, I can lose sight of how I make a difference.  The crises of the day sometimes cloud what I see in myself, as well as what I see in others. Taking time for a daily reflection has helped me with this so far this year.

Give! That is what I must do to be a success in life. Give of myself, give of what I have, and give my heart and soul to those around me. When I am selfish and take myself into account first, that is when misery soon follows. Not that I must always be 100% selfless, but I know that when I put others first I make far better decisions, and my life matters a great deal more.

You know when you are making a difference in someone’s life. You can tell by the way their spirit is lifted by your presence. When you put someone else’s needs ahead of your own, you are living by this quote. That simple goodness, that selfless act, becomes the standard of your life on which others will measure you.

Up until now I have used these quotes to tell how I am inspired on a daily basis, and I will continue to do so throughout this year. I also invite you to share how you are inspired. I am interested to know whether these daily reflections touch your heart, make you want to do something different, or reaffirm your own personal beliefs. Leave me a comment or two from time to time, tell me your thoughts and feelings as we stroll through this 365 project together.

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