Bob Dorney

The time society has a great theme for the coming year… Riches. Most of us take the riches and blessings we have for granted…. We often talk about them in an abstract way. I have found it a great exercise to identify, think about, and commit these thoughts to paper. You can have or acquire most anything you want… but you must visualize and work for it. What riches do we have or want… we need a plan to be successful.

Webster’s Dictionary describes riches as valuable possessions, much money, wealth and property. The Old Testament of our bible measured wealth by the number of servants and wives a man possessed. Riches were defined by the size and number of barns, land owned, positions of power.

In the New Testament, Jesus introduces the measurement of wealth by deeds performed…friendships made…life lived. Very little credit is given to material possessions. It is written that it is harder for a wealthy man to enter heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Is this verse factual or hyperbole to illustrate a point?

Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that people should be guaranteed the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Jefferson meant that we have the right to pursue these benefits, but the people must earn and work for them. To be born into a free society where it is possible to pursue our own goals… to achieve success regardless of the circumstances into which you are born must surely be counted as a blessing.

In today’s world, most of us think of riches in terms of material possessions: money, property, homes etc. we earn, inherit or acquire in our lifetime. But money and material possessions don’t guarantee happiness in our life journey. And at the end of journey… they have no value… you can’t take it with you. Life’s journey is like a chess game… at end of the game the king and pawn both get put back in the same box.

What are the riches promised in heaven after our life journey has ended? Jesus talks of mansions and other riches… yet we do not know and cannot fathom what they are. All the riches in the world cannot make us happy unless we learn to share and help others.

Wealth and riches can be a blessing, or a curse, depending on how we use them. Each of us must define riches as to what pleases us and defines our idea of success. As I thought about my life and what I considered were riches in my life… I came to the conclusion that I acquired far more riches than I could have imagined I had a right to dream of acquiring. I thought about how I acquired and measured my riches… what they meant to me and how I used them to give me pleasure in my life journey.

I decided that since God gave us ten fingers… we should search for the 10 riches that give us the most pleasure. I list my riches… not in order of importance… but how they relate to each other.

1.My religion and my God.

The most basic blessing in my life is that I was born into a loving family, was baptized and confirmed. I did not have to find God… only observe, believe, and follow what I was taught in my youth. No other riches in my life can begin to compare to the riches one can achieve in prayer…forgiveness… peace of mind, and the ability to visualize and achieve our dreams. My religion has given me the rules to live by… to find true happiness and success. No amount of money can buy the power that prayer can bring to our life.

2.Family wife and children.

God created us Man and Woman. We are designed to give and receive pleasure through the love two people share. It is the richest blessing, next to the love of God, we can achieve in our life journey. We live on in the children born of that love. I have three children born to my first love and I am proud of the lives they live. When I lost my first wife to cancer, I thought my life was over… but I married well again… how blessed can one man be? Together we have children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren who love us and who we love in return.

3.Money, wealth and possessions.

Money can’t buy happiness but it does come in handy when you want to buy something… If used wisely it can be a blessing to provide us with the pleasures of life. It can help us achieve success and provide a better life for our families. Those of us who are abundantly blessed and have sufficient resources to help others can find real satisfaction with the good we can do. To be able to have most anything we want can make life more enjoyable.

4.A healthy body and a good mind.

Those of us who have good health, with a good mind are richly blessed one can achieve most anything in life we want without too much effort and can enjoy our success. It is difficult to see others suffer with sickness and poor health.The good genes we inherit from our parents and ancestors are a gift money can’t buy.

5.Knowledge and how to use it.

A good education is priceless… but we can all learn everything we need to know from books, information systems, and from other people. Information becomes knowledge when we learn how to use it; and with it, we can earn as much wealth and riches we want or need to live a good life. Once acquired… it cannot be lost and it will provide a platform to do and achieve success in anything we want. I was not able to get a college education… however, my high school printing teacher taught me that it is possible to learn anything you need to know from books. I must include all the books acquired over the years as part of my riches because they help me achieve anything I want in life.

6.Enjoyable work and success.

Most of us must work to earn the money we need to enjoy life for our families. Those of us who can find work we enjoy are richly blessed… and those of us who are well paid for these efforts are most fortunate. Success in both work and family life are achieved by surprisingly few people. Life can be especially rewarding for those who earn enough early in life to retire while they are in good health and can enjoy traveling or helping others achieve their goals. Being successful has many rewards if we retain our humility. It can allow us to help others with the knowledge, money and resources that come with success.


Some will argue that success is based on the number of friends we develop in our lifetime. Good and loyal friends are a real asset that can help us in times of need. Friends help us achieve social and business success. One of the secrets of the successful individual is that they choose mentors who have experience in life and/or business. The knowledge and experience available from those who have traveled the path we want to take, is a treasure to be cherished.

8.Good deeds.

Riches are multiplied when they are shared with others. We can take pleasure from the help we are able to give others from riches we earn or inherit. Wealth, knowledge and power are best used to make things better for our society and communities. Great pleasure can be achieved when we can see others enjoy our gifts and efforts when we give anonymously without expecting recognition or reward. We gain additional pleasure knowing that we made it possible.


To be able to look back on our life experiences is a treasure to be cherished. We can relive and take great pleasure in remembering past deeds and experiences… a good life filled with all the riches we possess is worth remembering. As we live each day, we create good and bad memories of our experiences. Those of us who can look back and say we would change little are truly blessed and can find pleasure in recalling all our life experiences.

10.Ability to help others after we are gone.

We are on this earth only a short time, when we look at history. Will the life we lived, the things we did, and the riches we earned help others have a better life? To consume and use riches for ourselves is selfish and of no lasting value. We can take great pleasure in planning how our riches can be passed on to our family and society. To be able to do good with our treasures after we leave this Earth will help us enjoy life to the fullest.

These are the riches I have been given or earned… and have given me pleasure… life has been good to me… I look forward to enjoying whatever life offers me in the remaining years I have on this earth. And I know the mysteries and riches of my next life will be as rewarding as those of my life journey.