“I must say, Regina, now our son really is the richest boy in the world.”
“He has friends.”
– Richard & Regina Rich, Richie Rich
This comes at the end of a movie which, from beginning to end, is about how money is not everything. It’s not even the “best” thing. It is a very useful thing, perhaps, but it’s worth a lot less than people sacrifice for it. People think that if they had enough of it, all of their problems would disappear, and then they would be happy. But nothing about that is true. Not only does happiness not mean “a lack of problems,” but money is inherently limited, so it doesn’t simply make every problem vanish in the first place. It certainly does not bring happiness, else why would so many of the richest people in the world be so miserable?
Money can buy many things, but not happiness, and not love.
That is what makes the son of these two so rich. It’s not his bank account, or his popularity – and, yes, he is rather popular at the moment, but that is not remotely the same thing as being loved. Love is the greatest wealth in the universe, for from love springs the loyalty of comrades, the treasure of kindness, and the joy of family and friendship. Love takes all sorts of perfectly ordinary things, common items and everyday moments, and turns them into priceless treasures. Priceless in the truest sense of the word, being beyond the power of money to buy, barter, borrow, or exchange, or take, or lose in any way. You can lose a house because of money, but money cannot make you lose the joy that was known within its walls.
People in dire deprivation have known more joy in their lives than the wealthiest of the world’s elite, so long as they have had love. People facing death itself have known more peace than the safest person behind all of their walls and guards, because they have loved and been loved by the people who faced death alongside them. The humblest of the humble have been richer in the things that truly matter than the proud and mighty, because their treasure has been eternal, beyond the power of thieves and rust and inflation.
I know that I do not have much in my life, not in the eyes of the world, neither money nor status nor great, fancy toys the worth of which could feed a man for years on end. I know that I have indulged in far too many fantasies of having all those worldly things. I know that, whatever I do have, I am still squarely at the bottom of the totem pole.
And yet, I have so much. So much!
I do not suffer from deprivation. I have all my needs met, as well as many luxuries. I have an ocean of stories to swim in, sating my mind and my sanity. Most of all, I have love in my life. I have my family, and my adorable pets, and, though many have gone away from me, a weight which lingers on my heart, I do still have friends. True friends, and loyal.
I have so much to be thankful for, treasures which are beyond the price of money.
I am thankful!