1. Write about the non-material things that make you happy.
To Be Wealthy…
In today's modern era of materialism, we see people from all walks of life in pursuit of their never-ending quest to generate income. They all strive to achieve an impossible goal - to earn "enough" money. In their mindset, having a large amount of money and using it to purchase material things is a symbol of their unsurmountable wealth and power. Their ideology of "wealth" is simply the value of the material items they have amassed throughout their lives. Material things such as extravagant cars and luxurious mansions are their perceived definition of wealth. Sadly, many of us are caught trying to outrun each other in today's rat race to achieve wealth which has resulted in an acquisitive society. But is wealth truly just about material things?
I am a wealthy boy, perhaps the wealthiest boy in the world. Yes, I am well aware of my material possessions which are infinitesimal compared to the multimillionaire giants of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, but I am wealthy. My wealth does not come from branded sports shoes or the latest electronic gadgets but comes from within my heart. I am wealthy because of my gratitude and thankfulness.
Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, once told his students: "If you are contented with what you have, then you will remain joyous forever." This is indeed true. Wealth is unmeasureable. Unlike other physical quantities such as mass, height and volume, there is no yardstick to measure wealth. As contended by Albert Einstein in one of his most famous works, "Einstein's Theory of Relativity", everything is possible if we have the right perception. For example, if we are grateful and contented with our material belongings, then we feel wealthy regardless of whether we are really rich or not. On the other hand, if we are dissatisfied with what we have and keep on wanting more and more money, we will feel as if we are poor. Indeed, gratitude and thankfulness can make a poor man wealthy.
I am happy and wealthy because I possess a grateful heart. I am thankful for my belongings. I am grateful for the fact that I am able to enjoy three meals a day, blessed with family and friends who love me and all that life has to offer. And for that, I am contented with what I have, for thankfulness and gratitude are the non-material things that make me happy.
by Isaac Chung De Wei of class OX1TAM 2013