Earlier this week I heard a beautiful quote from Bob Marley. In an interview, with reference to his fame, he was once asked, “Are you a rich man, do you have a lot of possessions?” He replied, “I don’t have that kind of richness, my richness is life”.
So simple yet so profound and meaningful. It’s been in my head all week. It’s amazing; one can read hundreds of books on the philosophy of life, mindfulness, Buddhism, Taoism, and alike, and then sometimes we stumble across just one quote that makes sense of it all in one eloquent swoop of a few words.
The quote doesn’t just make an emphatic statement, it is deeply meaningful and makes so much of what we believe we exist for one a day-to-day basis appear frivolous and pointless.
The very fact you have a place on this earth is a gift of incredible wealth, and one that transcends monetary value. One needs nothing more than life, quite simply because without life we cease to exist. No amount of money can ever make you feel lasting happiness, only delusions of importance and grandeur.
Life provides all the richness we need to thrive. Yet we spend our lives in a fabricated parallel existence, attempting to accumulate as much material wealth as we can; much of which is produced to the detriment of the natural world that supports our existence. How insane.
Nature gives us the food and water we need to thrive, the materials to build shelter, and an armoury of senses to enjoy the natural world in so many ways. Nature also gives us the qualities needed to enjoy all other living things: love, kindness, respect, honesty – all we have to do is share them and a greater positive experience for all will prevail.
But instead we busy ourselves trying to change things for the better, to improve on an already perfectly designed system, which in truth only becomes unbalanced when humans interfere. Almost everything we collectively do on a daily basis as human beings is a quest for more; bigger, better, faster. A blind quest to beat nature, as if we are in some way separate or more important than life itself. As if one day we’ll be able to control the world with massive amounts of money that will help us manipulate time and space to our benefit. It’s dellusional.
Why is one breath of fresh morning air so much more rewarding than the purchase of any material object? Because your richness is life, and without it nothing in your possession has any reality.
We are part of life itself, but no more important than any other living organism. It’s important to remember that. We are only here doing what we do each day for as long as Mother Nature permits us to remain. We must appreciate that, and do our best to make the experience as positive as possible for every other living organism, too.
Enjoy your successes, enjoy your hard earned money, but don’t separate yourself from the true essence of your being. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are defined by such things. Go outside, raise your hands to the sky, take a deep breath and hug the world. Run around for a while, sit and observe the flowers and trees, marvel at the creation of your fellow human beings, rather than thinking about how much they own, how much you’ve got, and what you’d like to have in the future. Your true richness is being alive in this moment, right now. Your richness is life.