I can remember when I was in college I cut out two magazine pictures, one of a silver gray Mercedes and one of a Mansion. They were what I dreamed of driving and living in. I had spent most of my childhood growing up in my Nana’s old, ramshackle house with my Mom, Dad and two brothers. I shared a room with my brother with barely enough space to walk between our two beds.
We never had much money. I learned to drive in my Mom’s ancient, ailing Plymouth. And I had to catch lifts to school with my friends because I couldn’t afford a car of my own. Now that I was in college I dreamed of being a businessman or a best selling author. Anything that would make me a boat load of money.
Remembering that time today I looked out my window at my tiny, twelve year old car. It was silver gray with a touch of rust and it was no Mercedes. I looked around my snug, little home as well. It was no Mansion. In fact, it was smaller than the home I grew up in. Yet, when I looked around it I felt richer than I ever had before. It had taken me a long time but I had learned a few things since those college days. I had learned that happiness can’t be bought. I had learned that no matter how hard you hug your money, it can’t hug you back. I had learned that cash, cars, and houses aren’t the important things in this life. What is important, what is essential is the love we give, the kindness we create, and the joy we share. The real riches of life come from inside of us. And when we live in love and share that love with others the Kingdom of Heaven lives within us as well.
We can drive our cars and dwell in our houses, but if we want happiness we have to live in love. We have to spend each day here loving God, loving ourselves, and loving everyone else. Then each day will be filled with joy and those days will become a lifetime.
Joseph J. Mazzella