Clearly, the purpose of wealth is not security. The purpose of wealth is reckless generosity. Joan Chittister, OSB and Archbishop Rowan Williams
What would you be willing to give away or go without so that those with less could have enough?
In their thought providing book, Uncommon Gratitude, Joan Chittister, OSB and Archbishop Rowan Williams note that “Wealth may be one of the most demanding things in life for a person to handle well and really feel good about.”
They say that the wealthy have to grapple with questions of balance in every aspect of life. The rich ask questions like, “when, exactly, is enough, ‘enough’? And then what do you do with what’s left over?”
Regardless of your personal income, exposure to gut-wrenching poverty provides perspective for grappling with the questions of when is enough, and what do you do with your excess. Some years ago the Faith and Money Network took a person who lived on the street on a trip to Haiti. The trip was an eye opener for him and he came back saying that he thought he was poor, but after visiting Haiti he realized he didn’t understand before what it meant to truly be really poor.
My experience from years of leading trips to Guatemala to work with the poor is that the vast majority of trip participants come home with a new perspective. Even a short exposure to real, grinding poverty can open your heart and mind and eyes to the reality that you are rich by the world’s standards if you have a roof over your head and can feed your family three meals a day.
Blessings on your efforts to discern what you can give away or go without so that those with less can have enough.