But I'm Not Rich
From the standpoint of material wealth, Americans have difficulty realizing how rich they really are. By going through a little mental exercise, suggested by Robert Heilbroner, we can set back and count our blessings....
- Take out all of the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. Use blankets and pads for beds.
- Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit, shirt or blouse. Leave only one pair of shoes.
- Empty the pantry and refrigerator except for a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions and a dish of dried beans.
- Dismantle the bathrooms, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in your house.
- Take away the house itself, and move the family into the tool shed.
- Place your "house" in shantytown.
- Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs. This is no great loss, because none of you can read anyway.
- Leave only one radio for the whole shantytown.
- Throw away your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars.
- Move the nearest hospital or clinic ten miles away and put a mid-wife in charge instead of a doctor.
- Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops, of which 1/3 will go to the landlord and a tenth to the money lenders.
- Lop off 25 years of life expectancy.
Now after all that, by comparison how rich are we? And with our wealth comes responsibility to use it wisely, not to be wasteful, and to help others. Think on these things.