Joan Rivers, may peace be upon her, once asked her business manager: “How much money do I have in the bank because I want it delivered to my house by the end of the day. I want to touch it!”
She was also famously quoted as saying: “People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money you can have a key made.”
An ancient Rabbi asked: “Who is rich? The one who appreciates what he has and is satisfied with her portion.”
We all know of very wealthy people who are terribly unhappy, and ordinary people who are very happy.
What the sage was explaining is that happiness is the ability to find joy in what you have. Unhappiness is dwelling on what you don’t possess.
This is what we should do every day. Every morning we wake up and it’s a new day. The sacred teaching is that our souls have been restored. We can breath deeply and take in all that is good if we have a roof over our head and family and friends.
And yet we spend too much time dwelling on what is missing. We worry and are anxious and complain about trivial things. We count our money instead of counting our blessings and appreciating all that we have. We are continually dwelling on what we don’t have.
We all think: ” I would be happy if only…”
But the Holy One of Blessing wants us to be happy right now, because if you are not happy with your portion in life, then it does not matter how much you have in your bank account. It is never enough.
The real key to happiness is to see the smiles of the ones you love and the beauty all around you.
And may you discover the richness and joy and power within you that you surely possess and deserve.
Rabbi Hirshel Jaffe, a four time cancer survivor, is a motivational/inspirational speaker on the theme NEVER GIVE UP! He authored “Why Me? Why Anyone?” which chronicles his rescue from leukemia and his spiritual triumph over despair. Known as “The Running Rabbi” for competing in the NY Marathon, he received the “Award of Courage” from President Ronald Reagan in a White House ceremony. Rabbi Jaffe was one of the clergy who visited the American hostages in Iran to offer them comfort and hope and was asked by the President to greet them at the White House upon their return. He received an honorary Doctorate from his seminary for “his work with the sick, and his noble influence upon all people. You can follow him on Twitter.
Image courtesy of Azrul Aziz.