True Wealth

[ brief pause as theme music rises ]

It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

[ brief pause ]

Dictionary definitions tell us that wealth is having an abundance of financial or material possessions or having plentiful supplies of a particular resource. Yet such definitions fail to consider the characteristics of wealth that have nothing to do with money.

Join me this week as we take a look at some of the other forms of wealth. Stay with me.

[ theme music fades ]

Throughout history, countless people have been miserable despite having amassed great financial prosperity. At the same time, there are those who have far less, but are content in ways that money can’t buy. I’ve been fortunate enough to know several of those who fall into the latter category, often encountering them in surprising ways and in surprising places.

In a world-class atmosphere, the Café Modern at Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum combines extraordinary meals with extraordinary service. It was there, years ago, that I was fortunate enough to meet someone who didn’t quite seem to be from this earthly plane, though he most assuredly was.

When I began having lunch there, I couldn’t help noticing one of the men who cleared the tables and swept the floor. As he quietly went about his work, he was always smiling. But it wasn’t just any smile—there was an arresting quality about it and an equally arresting quality about him.

The Café’s patrons paid him little mind and I don’t recall anyone speaking to him. Despite that, there was an ease and a natural grace in everything he did. As he seemed to float from place to place, I had the sense that I was watching an accomplished master at work.

My curiosity having gotten the best of me, I stopped him one day as he passed my table and asked if he would talk with me. When he graciously agreed, I stood up and introduced myself.

“¡Mucho gusto!” he said in a thick Mexican accent. Then, putting his hand over his heart and bowing ever so slightly, he added, “I am called Juan.”
“Con permiso,” I said, “I’d like to know why it is that you’re always smiling as you work. What is it that makes that happen?”
His smile widened to a boyish grin.
“Por supuesto,” he said. “I am wealthy.”
“Are you?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” he said, almost whispering. “I have God. I have my health. I have my family. I have my work. I have everything.”

We shook hands and he went back his work and I returned to my meal. As I sat there reflecting on it, I realized that I’d never met anyone who exuded such a sense of gratitude and peace. Over the coming months, we spoke briefly on several occasions, and each time, I became more inspired by the radiance he projected.

When he was suddenly gone, I asked the café’s manager about him and learned that Juan had decided to go back to Mexico. I also learned that the man who matter-of-factly described himself as wealthy had been living with seven other men in a one room apartment. To keep his expenses to a minimum, he walked to and from work and lived with extreme modesty, sending almost every cent he earned back to Mexico to support his family.

[ brief pause ]

Photo: Team One


Since that day, I’ve thought of Juan many times. Each time I do, I think about what it means to be truly wealthy, reflecting on the questions he inspired.

Here are a few of them.

Regardless of someone’s financial assets, what does it mean to be personally wealthy?

In what ways am I blessed?

Am I being intentionally grateful for what I have?

Do I appreciate how truly wealthy I am?

If someone were to watch me from a distance, what would they see in the way I carry myself?

If they spoke with me, even briefly, what would they take away from our exchange?

In what ways can I share my wealth with others?

Ask yourself what personal wealth you have in health, friendships, love, work, or a place to live. In what abundance do you possess curiosity, passion, creativity, intelligence, faith, or a hundred other things? How rich are you in things that cannot be measured or held in your hands or demonstrated on a bank statement?

How truly wealthy are you?

[ brief pause ]

In light of that, it might be interesting to engage in deeper inquiry that can help us develop a more well-rounded understanding of what it means to be wealthy. To do that, I offer this week’s three Beautiful Questions.

Question One: Regardless of your financial state, what brings you contentment, satisfaction, joy, or a sense of meaning?

Question Two: What traits about you stand out as some of the key contributors to how wealthy you are?

Question Three: If you were to live your life in the conscious awareness of how inwardly and outwardly wealthy you are, what would automatically change about you and about the ways you engage with life, with the people around you, and with yourself?

[ brief pause ]

I’m guessing you’ll discover that you’re far more wealthy than you’ve allowed yourself to believe. As you ponder that, write and tell me about it.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

[ theme music & sign-off ]

Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing the things we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

[ brief pause ]

I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

[ brief pause ]

The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

[ theme music swells and fades out ]

[ end ]

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.