I guess it depends on which currency you measure your wealth in.
If you asked the uncle next door, he would lookup your bank balance and total up the USD, GNP, Euro (but with a prayer!), INR (with a bigger prayer!)..This wealth ages well – you can live off your grandfathers’ savings even today.
The doctor at the neighborhood clinic wouldn’t entirely agree. Money’s important but isn’t pedigree (number of certificates and the institutions which issued them) worth more – if you had the latter, you could get fulfillment and money…
The merchant would think it was information alone that deserved to be the best currency. As long as he knew more about the market than the farmer and more about the farms than the buyer, he could make a tidy sum.
If you asked your friend at wall street, he would talk about his stocks and what he thinks they are worth. He may confess that the value of the stock depends not on a physical asset/ company performance but on market perception. And perception is fickle – remember man is kind, men are evil!
The youngster at work would elucidate the number of LinkedIn contacts he has and the number of testimonials he’s obtained. He may also flout his klout score and the reputation he has in the virtual world.
The teenage girl may carelessly show you her enormous friends list on Facebookand the massive likes she’s earned. She sure is popular, as she bobs her head to a blockbuster soundtrack on her iPod.
Her grandfather would shake his head reflecting on the ignorance and innocence of youth as he fondly remembers the titles he’s earned (not quite knighted by the queen but close) and the clubs he’s a proud member of. Did he mention the viceroy once gave him a memento – the only one in his entire province to have received the honor?
The social activist shudders at the selfishness of her dad’s generation as she goes to salvage the poor from poverty, provide education to the masses and save the girl child.
We finally stroll down to the ashram where the saint is seated under a tree smiling serenely. The saint realizes he doesn’t have any desires left nor has he the random thoughts that agitate the common man. For him less is indeed more.
Who amongst these is right? Or is anyone or everyone? Who would you like to be?
And here’s a lovely list of attitudes from Seth Godin – that may help clarify what you are after…