Smile, You’re Rich!

Written by Claire Colvin

richerWith the media full of big diamonds and brand new cars it is easy to take a look around and be disappointed. There is an entire industry designed to show us what we don’t have and make us want it enough to go out and buy it. But the truth is that there is always going to be somebody who has something newer, bigger or shinier. Growing up a friend of mine had a great shirt. It said “He who dies with the most toys, still dies.” We forget sometimes that even if we did earn a huge house or a six carat pink diamond ring, it wouldn’t last. You can’t take it with you.

You might be richer than you think

If you ate breakfast this morning you are better off than the 800 million people worldwide who will go hungry today. And don’t think that it’s just happening in Africa. In the United States 9 million people “frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day.” (Source: If you eat three meals today, smile, you’re rich!

Choose to look a little closer at the world around you and you’ll find that you have a lot to be grateful for. I recently came across a website called The Global Rich List. It lets you type in your salary and then shows you where your wealth ranks on a global scale. The results are pretty eye opening. In the United States, in 1999, a family of four was considered “poor” if their income was $16 813/ year. If you put that figure into the Global Rich List, you’ll find that that puts poor Americans among the wealthiest 9% of the entire world. You may think of yourself as poor, but smile, you’re rich!

Changing our perspective

The Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as “readiness to show appreciation for kindness and to return it.” Gratitude doesn’t mean that we see the world through rose coloured glasses, but rather that choose to see the good things we have blessed with.

We have a very skewed idea of what gratitude actually is. Gratitude is not the same as being happy. Gratitude is taking an honest look at a situation and choosing to say “even in this there is a reason to hope”. Gratitude is the willingness to look for a reason to hope. There are going to be days when you can’t see anything to be grateful for. Life is not a musical or a Disney movie. But if you practice gratitude, you may find that even on the really, really hard days you can find something.

There is a lot to be grateful for. But even armed with this knowledge some days being grateful is hard work. There are days when you can look out of your window and practically trip over all of the things there are to be grateful for. And there are other days when you have to look really, really hard to find it.
Cultivating a grateful spirit takes time. It takes work and for many of us, it doesn’t come naturally.

Practicing gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a lot like exercising – we know we should do it, we know we need to do it and that our lives will be better if we do it, but we have a hard time fitting it into our day. How can you find time to be grateful? What would that look like?

Gandhi once said “we must be the change we want to see in the world.” Can we make it so that there is more to be thankful for? Yes, but it has to start with you. If you are looking for a way to put gratitude into practice, consider trying something from this list complied by writer Sadaf LaalDin:

  1. Love your family. (Does anyone need your forgiveness?)
  2. Invest time and energy in your children.
  3. Expand your borders – invite a neighbour for tea or coffee.
  4. Visit an elderly person and listen to their stories of the past.
  5. Write an encouraging note to someone feeling disheartened.
  6. Go grocery shopping for a family in need.
  7. Donate to your local women’s shelter.
  8. This month, write one letter as part of Amnesty International’s efforts to speak out against injustice (Visit Amnesty International for more information.)
  9. Decide how you can join the fight against AIDS.
  10. Know you have a unique purpose in the world. Believe you can and will make a difference.

Practicing gratitude can change the way you see everything. It can help you to be satisfied with what you have. It lets you enjoy the people and things in your life. Gratitude can show you that you do have enough to be able to help someone else. You can afford to be generous – you’re rich!

Around the holiday season, look for a place to donate – whether it’s a can of soup, or an hour of your time find a place to give back this year. The creators of the Global Rich List challenge their readers to donate one hour’s wages to a charitable cause. What could your one hour do?

Many soup kitchens put on Thanksgiving dinners that cost a few dollars a person, maybe your hour could buy lunch for a couple of people? Groups like Heifer International provide animals and training to developing nations. If you make $20/hr you could use one hour’s pay to buy chickens through Heifer International that will lay eggs to feed a family all year. Do you have 5 friends with $10? You could pool your resources and send trees that can make ravaged land fertile again. The possibilities are endless. Who’s world will your hour change?

If you are looking around your world and don’t see a lot to be grateful for, there is hope. You can have the peace that you are looking for; there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of woman you want me to be.

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Christ will come into your life as He promised.

If you invited Jesus Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5) and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

4 Responses to “Smile, You’re Rich!”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    The beautiful thing is Anish, God is gracious and gives to us things we have not earned. It is that generous nature that He then gives to those who follow Jesus and they also become generous, giving gifts to people even when they do not deserve them.

  • its wrong to donate or aid something. every one in this world have their share of honesty. every person in this world gets what they deserves based on their honesty and their past life acts.

  • LAC says:

    please pray that i will grow in grace and have
    closer and stronger walk with the LORD and learn to be more forgiving toward myself and other people thankyou all so much for your perspectives
    gave me much to think about GODS BEST BLESSINGS TO ALL LOVE IN CHRIST LAC

  • Maricor yang says:

    In our lives we experiences different trials that God given to us to test our faith in Him. In every trials we learn something from it; that we must be thankful and rejoice because God love us so much,He never spoiled us but to advice us the best that make our lives be simple and accept the real meaning of lives, that make us change, like food on the table we should thanked that sometimes not all food that we take our beef or pork or whatever special, we must be flexible or it just like in a rubber band accept all and not to stop but continue our works to God;

    for it just like our lives for sometimes in one click sometimes its chili for it means our lives sometimes are rocky roads but with our prayers and our faith to God it become smooth, sometimes it sour for it means our lives becomes empty and you may feel no one care but there is someone higher than us accept you as a whole and give you comfort as it best to made you complete in His loving arms sometimes it salty for it means with your faith to God it works and with His words it gives you to strength to fight the battle or face life because of what we learned and we apply for Gods eyes is our guidance of our path sometimes it sweet for it means when you remember those things there is different views of Life: God was there all the times in us and gave His Hand to serve and hold your hand to follow Him wherever He go!

    because God knows what is the best for His children; for it just like in married life for the flesh becomes one as you promise both in the covenant of God no one can seperate you even people around you or near people around you thru good times and bad times,and your rules in each one of us being together give your understanding , your faith together with the Lord can take it as whole and as what you believe in will be remained standing. accept LIFE in your relationship; with this in the end you will be happy forever it because you try to walk both in the puzzles of Life that Gods given in HIS JOURNEY!

    As it said 1 Peter 3:2;4-5;7
    when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God;For in this matter, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves being submissive to their own husbands; likewise your husband dwell with them with understanding giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel(give them your best, always give your sides to them, your love and care,and whatever problem you have share with each other arms for as its like give and take relationship.(not always think you are always right:D) and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

    Finally all of you, be one mind having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted be courteous and walk with Love and faith to God; for these my dear brothers and sisters to God May bless your way always with Happiness and peace, Amen

    Thank you
    Claire Colvin
    God bless
    For this article
    it may helps lot and convince many
    to stay on and be with God always
    May the Lord be with you always

Leave a Reply