A Letter to Neale: Can a person be ‘too rich’?

Oct 23, 2021

Reader question:

Dear Neale.. I remember in your book, I think it was the transcript of a talk you gave on abundance, you made the comment that you were wearing expensive Italian shoes, and that it took you a long time to be comfortable with wearing shoes that cost that much. I know I have some work to do in the area of lack and abundance. I work a lot with the poor and the homeless.

Last year I went to Nicaragua, where we fed a meal to families and children who scrounge through refuse in the dump outside of their town in order to survive. I came away from that experience feeling almost embarrassed by the excess of our country, and even myself, in the light of such need, in realizing that we throw away more food at a meal than these people eat in a day or a week.

I wondered how much do I really need, and can I live more simply and fully without such material excess? If we are all one, and the suffering of others affects me, don't I have a responsibility to pare down my excesses and material comforts?

I used to resent the rich, and I don't anymore. I know some good and loving wealthy people. But I struggle with discerning how much do I really need to use of the earth's resources when my excesses are so extreme in light of the world's poor.

I understand my struggle with abundance and lack creates the money issues I have at the present time. And I am eager to overcome it. I am just not sure how to change my thought about this matter.

Love, Tricia


Neale Responds:

Dear Tricia: I believe that we might all benefit from the adage, "Live simply, so that others may simply live."

I do not believe, however, that this means we should not have any "luxuries" in our lives. An occasional luxury is a wonderful experience, and when we give ourselves that we offer a wonderful example.

Now, luxury to excess -- which is what I believe you are talking about, Tricia -- is something I have sought to avoid. Did you see the headline story I wrote in the online newspaper, The Global Conversation? (www.TheGlobalConversation.com) It dealt with a billionaire who is seeking to build the Biggest Home in America (90,000 sq. ft). Some people might consider this an example of luxury to excess. Others may not. It is all about one’s opinion. But surely our bottom-line reason for living our life plays into how we live it.

Changing your experience of lack, Tricia, is about changing your thought that there is "not enough." CwG in the first chapter of the first book says that the three basic principles of life are:

1. We are all one.
2. There's enough.
3. There's nothing we have to do.

Those foundational principles, deeply understood and richly practiced, set the tone for the entire 9 books that follow, and encapsulate the Conversations with God message. These statements alone could change the world.

For instance, Tricia, if you embraced the second of those statements, and decided to make it functional in your life, you would find yourself walking down the street and giving money away to poor people right and left. A quarter here, a dollar there...

As you gave your money away, you would find that you are multiplying it in your life.

I have learned this: That which flows through you sticks to you. Try it. It works for me every time. It may or may not work for you, but it’s worth a try. It’s the Golden Rule, made practical: Do unto others as you would have it done unto you. Or, as Conversations with God puts it: That which you wish to experience in your own life, cause another to experience.

With Hugs & Pure Love,

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