WoW 051: On the wealth of relationships [Words of Wisdom]

Money has taken many forms through the ages, from gold to fiat currency, to bitcoin. Whether a raw material, a printed piece of paper, or digital currency, money has three functions: a store of value, a unit of account, and a medium of exchange.

Money is a way to transfer energy over time. You work today, exchanging the physical or mental energy spent from your work to earn money. You can store that money, previously your energy, and spend the money in the future on purchasing some product, experience, information, or asset.

You can think of trusted relationships, like money, as a form of wealth. While lacking a unit of account, friendships are an incredible store of value and medium of exchange.

Acts of love create value in a relationship. A thoughtful encouragement, a gentle word, helping another. Choosing forgiveness. Bearing witness to someone's pain and progress.

Once this value is created in a friendship, it can be stored over time. Your reputation is remembered.

Your loving actions have significant meaning and value.

Over time, the store of value of a trusted relationship can be drawn on in times of trouble and celebration.

Earn trust today by genuinely being of service to another; tomorrow you may need that trust in a totally unexpected way.

Serving one another in a community is a kind of medium of exchange.

Instead of paying for someone to provide a service, you can earn this benefit by being trustworthy and generous. An interconnected, openhanded community generates a staggering yet subtle wealth of information and sharing and can be united to expend its collective energy in a leveraged way.

Collective intelligence is a powerful form of wealth.

Serving others without motive for a return turns out to be one of the most significant investments you can make. It gives immediate returns of joy and purposeful action and can compound over time through empowering others.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Likewise, the interconnectedness of life means that when you choose the lesser choice, it also impacts everyone.

Betrayal, isolation, shame, and selfishness put you into relational debt and depletes the entire economy of your valued relationships.

Loving someone who is not loving to you is a way of showing real value, removing debt, and can help restore someone's reputation over time. Reconciliation is one of the most valuable ways to add value to someone else's life.

A community rich in humility and connection is worthy of your largest investments. Helping create a vibrant community is one of the most generous ways to live.

And to think that religious or spiritual communities have fallen out of favor among most Americans. These communities are the richest in relational wealth that I have ever experienced. It is not just technology or covid-19 that has contributed to the truly devastating loneliness epidemic.

An exquisitely valuable treasure is to know and be known over time. If you don't have friends who know you deeply, you live in poverty.

Loving relationships are the truest form of wealth.

As I said previously, "Generational wealth means empowering those who follow you and making space for them to take the lead and surpass you."

A trusted relationship cannot be purchased, but it can be earned over time through your integrity. Conversely, trust can be lost incredibly quickly. Avoid rash decisions, taking shortcuts, and choosing selfishness over loving actions. Eventually, the small or large betrayals you do in secret will come to light, and there will be hell to pay.

Do to others what you would have them do to you. And don't do to others what you would not have them do to you.

Invest in your future with your time and energy by improving your relationships.

Invest in your future and the future of your community and serve others. Love and service are the richest and most joyful investments. ​


"Communities are created when at least two people begin to feel concern for each other's welfare. If others join this tiny caring flame, the community fire grows...communities function best and are most durable when they're helping members to be more successful in some way in a connected and dynamic world."

Charles H. Vogl, The Art of Community

"Whatever your position in a relationship, if you are aware of a problem, it's your responsibility to make a concerted effort to create a positive change. Quit pointing your finger and making excuses, and try being a catalyst by demonstrating and initiating the appropriate behavior. Determine not to be a reactor but an initiator."

John C. Maxwell, Be a People Person


How rich are you in trusted, faithful friendships?

Who can you invest in serving today?

What kind of encouragement can you give?​


It is a joy to serve you in a small way by writing the Words of Wisdom. If you would like to pass on what you're experiencing here, by all means, send your friends this link so they can be encouraged.

Live wisely and love well,


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