There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich. – Seneca
What does that mean?
This quote implies that there is something about people that makes them rich or poor besides their worldly possessions, or lack thereof. It says that there is something noble about being poor. That doesn’t sound pleasant, but I believe he is speaking about the quiet dignity of the working class.
In years past, they were called laborers, blue collars, or even working stiffs. You may know of other terms particular to your local customs. Basically, they were people who had enough to survive, but not enough to be fancy. And they were fine with that. Yes, they might want more, but they didn’t need more, and they knew the difference.
The flip side are the rich snobs. They are the people born with a silver spoon in their mouth, members of the lucky sperm club, or other less kind terms. They are people who have never known want or need. They are unable to relate to hardship. They are the embodiment of the “If there is no bread, then let them eat cake!” mentality.
Note that not all who are wealthy are snobs, just as not all who are poor are noble. However, it is far harder to gain that nobility without knowing want and need. And without the ability to have appreciation and show thankfulness for the smallest of things, a rich life will always be just beyond your grasp, no matter how large your bank balance.
Why is gratefulness important?
This quote is, ultimately, about the little things in life. The simple pleasures that most of the ‘simple folk’ know, but some of the rich folk never learn. The quiet evening at home with the family, rather than another dinner party with people you hardly know, and hardly like.
How does one have gratitude for a dinner party you’d rather not be at, but attend anyway, because it’s expected of you? Compare that to a quiet night at home with the family, even if all you do is sit there and read, or have quiet conversations about the events of the day?
That’s not to say it is impossible, just a little more challenging. The poor have a choice to be grateful for what they have, or be angry for what they don’t have. Most learn quickly which path is the more pleasurable. For those who have much, and take it for granted, it is much more difficult.
Where can I apply this in my life?
To me, this quote also implies a richness in spirit, brought on by gratitude and the overcoming of hardship which is more commonly known to the poor than to the rich. The question is how to bring this nobility, as the quote calls it, to our own lives.
When you get to the end of each day, take a moment and list all the things that happened that day, and why you are grateful for each. If you are having trouble making that list, it might be a clue that you are poorer than you might think.
How many things can you think of right off the top of your head? For what are you truly grateful? What do you have in your life, without which you would be sad? Even things you might not like, such as a job or a sibling, may be something you are grateful for, even if grudgingly, right?
It is easy to bear a grudge against someone for whom you are grateful, and that is kind of sad. Forgetting or submerging our gratitude for someone over some slight, real or perceived, is not going to bring us a rich life experience, is it? I don’t think so, do you?
Instead, I use a trick I learned long ago. Initially, it was about embarrassing situations, but I have found it works in a wide variety of circumstances. “If you will laugh about this situation in five or ten years, why wait? Laugh about it *now*!”
The same can be said about forgiveness, can’t it? “If you will forgive them in five or ten years, why wait? Forgive them *now*!” Right? Get back to being grateful as soon as possible. The same goes for being mad at someone, or any number of other things that might interfere with being grateful.
Gratitude is not a platitude, but a real and useful place to be. An attitude of gratitude is a powerful force. It bolsters your spirit and reinforces your morale. It allows you to suffer in silence those things which cannot be avoided.
This gratitude brings a quiet dignity which, in my opinion, is far more noble than the tantrums thrown by those used to getting their way, regardless of how much money they do or do not have.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna133455.html
Photo by Mike Procario