Strange as it sounds, wealthy people often feel incomplete and empty because they have no real reference of knowing what it is like to have nothing. In the same way as shadow defines light, poverty defines wealth. For a Nepalese man who lives out in the country, an income of eight dollars a month may be the normal average. If he comes to town and sees others earning as much as $100 a month, he considers them to be rich. By contrast, however, Americans would regard themselves as below the poverty line if they made $1,000 dollars a month. In turn, they would see someone with a monthly income of $5,000 being well off. Yet many of those who make that amount and more feel they have nothing to spare when they see a homeless person in the street who may collect even less than the Nepalese man in the countryside.

So those born into very wealthy families, with free access to everything they could ever want, may not be able to appreciate their wealth at all. It may in fact become so meaningless to them that they spend it on things they really don’t need or even enjoy, except perhaps for a fleeting moment. Yet they are often very reluctant when it comes to giving part of it away to help those in need, except occasionally as donations that are tax deductible. They find no real purpose for what they own.

By contrast, many people born into very poor families learn to appreciate small things as great gifts, and have a better grip on using their wealth wisely when they step into the flow of incredible abundance. They are more likely to remain humble and receptive and put their wealth to good use, both for their personal benefit and that of society. They know that poverty at an early age helps them to appreciate their life, their family, and their world. – Andreas Moritz