Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy. Proverbs 3:13-18 NRSV

Once the basics of food, clothing, and shelter are met, happiness doesn’t have much at all to do with wealth or possessions. That’s why wisdom is better than a pile of precious metal: gold and silver can’t make an unhappy person happy in anything more than a momentary sense, and a happy person will be happy with or without them. Wise people know this vital truth.

I don’t know if wise and happy people live longer in terms of years, but they live more in the days given them. Whether they are monetarily richer or recipients of more accolades, I can’t say – but they consider what they have more than enough and do not take offense at the slights (intentional or unintentional) that come their way.

The wise walk down the street, seeing in the world around them life, love, and infinite possibility. Could the street have been straighter and the weather better? Perhaps. Could it have been worse? Sure. But isn’t it enough to be alive in this God-given world, in this time and this place? Isn’t what life offers marvelous? How we answer those questions reveal our wisdom or folly, our abiding happiness or impatient discontent.

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