WOW Word-Of-the-Week #311: Rich

July 14, 2010 by  

Rich – having an abundant supply.

What does the word rich mean to you? Does rich mean that you have a lot of material wealth? Does rich mean you want for nothing? Does rich mean you have an abundant life? Do you think of yourself as being rich?

This week my ninety-one-and-a-half-year-old father fell. He was outside watering and lost his balance going down two steps. He lives by himself and didn’t tell anyone until the next day. He said, “Oh, it’s just a little sprain.”  It didn’t even occur to him to call the doctor. Well good news – his family did!

And bad news – turns out he fractured his ankle. This is his first broken bone and good news – his doctor said, “I see men in their sixties who wish they had bones as good as yours.” But bad news – he can’t put any wait on it for a minimum of four weeks. That means he can’t live alone.



Good news – my brother found Salina! She is from Kenya and has been in the US for two years and works as a live-in caregiver. She is absolutely delightful and my dad is grateful to have her to help him get around as well as cook for him.

We are going to Africa in September, so Salina and I had much to talk about. But then we got to talking about her life here and her impressions of America. She said to me, “Everyone in the US is rich.” To which I replied, “Why do you say that?” And she said, “Everyone has running water. Everyone has electricity. And no one goes for a week without food like they do in my home town.” And then my husband chimed in, “The reason we are rich is because we have freedom.”

Based on that assessment, then yes everyone in America is rich. And this week I want you to focus on how rich you are. Would you agree that material things don’t make us rich? Do you wake up in the morning feeling grateful that you live here? Are you rich with wonderful relationships?

Reader Responses

“Yes I feel rich, I’m richly blessed to be able to have freedom and peace of mind, and to be able to worship as I please. Many people in this country take a lot of things for granted; many of us need to reevaluate our lives. Glad to hear your Dad will be fine. Have a great day.” – Mona

I just heard about Whitey.  I am so sorry that happened to him but it’s wonderful you have Salina.  This was a very good message and Salina and Chris are so right.  We’re all rich in this country and it is because we are free.” – Elaine

“God Bless Salina,  Prayers and blessings to Salina with the beautiful smile.  How rich she made you and your Father’s life.  Rich has many great meaning!” –   Linda

“Great story, hope your dad heals fast, or at least as fast as a 91 1/2 year can. My mom just turned 90, lives in an assisted care facility, but is generally able to take care of herself.  We are very lucky….on so many levels!  I guess compared to others around the world, we are very lucky and rich!!!!” – Dick

“Wow, your dad sounds just like my 92 year old grandfather who lives in Corpus Christi, Texas but you wouldn’t think he looks 92 if you saw him. He still works very hard outside and when he goes out, he makes sure his clothes are all pressed and shoes are shined. Even though the Texas Department of Transportation told him he should not be driving, he still gets in his car and travels to San Antonio to visit. He just doesn’t drive at night. But my mom worries about him because he gets bumps and bruises, falls, and we never hear about it until weeks after it happens. Then my mom would ask him, “What did the doctor say?” and he replies, “Oh, I didn’t go, I took care of it myself.” He feels great and he doesn’t believe just because he’s 92 that he should act like he’s 92. Do you know what I mean?” – Linda

“This is the type of perspective more of us need to focus on rather than using material accumulation/designer collections/lavish lifestyle etc. as a measuring stick.  Of course, some of this switch in values comes with age so I try to stress the fact that intangibles become much more important as you age to my younger relatives who are caught up in so much of the materialism of today.  Thanks for the WOW’s.” –  Bonnie