To understand what wealth is, we must discuss it within the context of economics. Wealth is an accumulation of resources that can be measured in terms of goods or money. Economics deals with how people can best share the natural resources of the earth, the human resources for mobilizing these earthly resources, and the rewards of their labor. Economics is classified as social science, but it should be viewed from the perspective of ethics. However, economists tend to sidestep ethical issues.
We should persistently ask this question – what is the right thing to do with wealth? Government should ensure that wealth is distributed in proportion to people’s skills, labor, and social responsibility, and should guard against allowing disproportionate shares of wealth, especially to those who exploit others.
Western culture has devised a variety of economic systems that enable wealth to be concentrated in the hands of a few. These systems place the highest priority on profitability which results in the waste of natural resources and the underdevelopment of people’s talents and skills. Most of today’s manufactured goods are unnecessary and trivial. How many homes or cars does a wealthy family need?
Money is the most common means of measuring wealth. What good is having millions of dollars if your health is poor or if you have no friends, or your children despise you, or if you debase yourself with drugs and alcohol? If money can’t make you happy, then why pursue it for personal gain? True wealth is enjoying life which implies being healthy, having friends and family, being a loving person, getting what you need when you need it, etc.
As Black people, we cannot afford to mimic the Western man’s pursuit of wealth generation. We must build wealth by expressing our love for one another. As we do so, material wealth will come because God needs you to help others. Your wealth will come from God sharing Its wisdom and power with you. And once we acquire wealth in this manner, we’ll have the maturity to know what to do with it. The wealth you attain must be shared. Otherwise, it will be wasted due to unethical behavior.
The essence of wealth is love. YOU are an abundance of wealth! You have an infinite reservoir of love that you can share with the world. When you sacrifice for someone who has no way of paying you back, God will give back to you so you can, in turn, continue to share with others. When you see someone with a genuine need, then you help them because it’s the right thing to do.
Imagine if Black people re-established their culture of wealth building through sharing with one another. The possibilities are boundless. We could build great nations once again.