“Uncle Jimshow – Are You Rich? Will You Buy Me A Rocket Ship?”
My nephew Grayson came for a visit recently. He is a fun, precocious, observant and VERY smart kid. Whip smart. Like most 4 year-olds, he has questions. I always look forward to answering the millions of questions his curious mind has for me.
One of his many barrage of questions came while we were playing the Sonic The Hedgehog video game. While collecting rings in the game, he asked me several questions – in which one that had me pause for a moment. In between game levels, Grayson looked around our bedroom like he was in deep thought. He then asked me a question that had me stop and think for a moment – he’s asked in that precocious 4-year-old voice...
“Are you rich?”
He then wiped his snotty nose on his arm and then started playing Sonic with an intended focus once again.
Wait, am I rich?
Not in the traditional sense. And not in the sense most might think. No, I have very little assets and have no trust fund to fall back onto. There is no pending grand inheritance. I do not have a solid plan B. But yet, yes I am rich.
Now this is the part where you think I am gonna get all Hallmark on ya and say I have my health, relationships and friends. While those may be true – that ain’t the way I roll.
No, Grayson, I am not “rich” – at least the way most define it.
I am a proud American. This country can allows us all the opportunity to have nothing and the opportunity to create something. With enough brains and hard work, the opportunity to make a decent living by working a trade or even starting a business is attainable. Jeff Bezos started Amazon out of his garage. Now he is the richest man on the planet.
If you were lucky enough to be born in America, you can count yourself rich too. By the world’s standards, you have more than most people in the world have. The poorest in our country are way better off than most of the world. Here is just a partial list of things that make us “rich”.
All have access to medical emergency care.
We have entitlement programs that can bridge you while you need it.
We have unemployment Insurance when work runs out.
We throw away more food than any other country.
We are not under the threat of dictatorship or enemies near our border.
Americans are decent, hard-working people who look out for each other.
Charities are abundant.
Abundant and cheap food supply.
There are many more things to consider here. It’s just a good reminder when you are stuck in quarantine for day number #173. So much to consider. We in America do have it good if you think about it. It’s hard to keep up with the Joneses, and I encourage you NOT to try. It’s exhausting. And pointless.
“Uncle, it’s your turn!” Grayson handed me the game controller. I awoke from my train of thought and thanked him. I finally answered his question, “Yes Grayson, we are BOTH rich.” Without a beat, he then asked, “Good, can you buy me a rocket ship then? Cause I want to go into space!”
Out of the mouth of babes…
All My Best,