‘Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, a trusted friend is the best relative, nirvana is the greatest bliss’ – Buddha
Shiny and bright, with a beautiful lustre, gold has been valued by mankind since antiquity. This model is a traditional Chinese gold ingot called a sycee (Cantonese) or a yuan bao (Mandarin). Shaped like a boat it was used as currency during the Qin dynasty and is now a symbol of wealth and good fortune; it often appears on paintings and drawings to celebrate Chinese New Year. During the celebrations, many foods are made into the shape of a sycee and gifted to celebrate the good fortune that comes with a new year.
Its rarity and valuable nature means that gold is often coveted; revered on account of a belief that owning a piece of the precious metal will make us happier. Yet one of life’s greatest delusions is the belief that material possessions bring us happiness.
As you fold your ingot, reflect on the nature of wealth. Do material possessions really make you happy? Is true wealth the money you have in your bank account; the property and assets you own, or is it something we cannot physically hold. Of course, we all need a minimum to live but acquiring more money does not make us happier; indeed the pursuit of material gain has been the downfall of many and has lead to conflict and wars. Think about the things that truly make you happy. Family, friends, fond memories, achievements, knowledge you have gained – these memories are your true wealth. The richest people are not the ones with the most gold, they are those with the most happiness.