To most people a wealthy person, community or nation is one that is 'rich' in the sense of possessing assets or money which constitute material gain. The word 'wealth' originally meant state of well-being (weal). The word 'commonwealth' carries this meaning. But it is now used to refer to property which generally promotes material well-being rather than the mental state of being well.

Of course we cannot deny that desire for wealth is a valuable adjunct to success if held within proper bounds. Desire , in itself, is not evil. Unrestrained, however, desire leads to restless discontentment, envy, greed, fear and cruelty to fellow beings. The accumulation of money may aid in the achievement of a kind of happiness to some extent, but does not in itself bring total satisfaction. Where most men of vast means fail is when they confuse the means with the end. They do not understand the nature, meaning and proper function of wealth, that is merely a 'means' by which one can gain the 'end' of supreme happiness. But one can be happy without being rich. An old Chinese tale will illustrate this.

Once there was a king who wanted to know how to be truly happy. One of his ministers advised him that to be happy he would have to wear the shirt of a man who was truly happy. After a long time he found such a man, but the happy man had no shirt to give the king. That was why he was happy!

Wealth should be used well and wisely. It should be used for one's welfare as well as that of others. If a person spends his time clinging to his property, without fulfilling his obligations toward his country, people and religion, he will lead an empty life plague with worries. Too many people are obsessed with material gain, to the point that they forget their responsibilities to their families and fellow beings. Happiness is a strange thing. The more you share it, the more you get satisfaction .

If one is selfish, when the time comes for one to leave the world, one will realize too late that one had not made full use of his or her wealth. No one, even a wealthy person, will have really benefited from the riches so painstakingly accumulated.