[ The Money Side of Lifeā„¢ ]

Defining Rich

By Bryan Sims on July 31st, 2005 •

If you look up the word rich in a dictionary, one definition reads: "having great worth or value." Unfortunately, the word rich is most commonly associated with money, financial success and material wealth. While we appreciate that money can come with success, being rich is more than the size of your savings account, the car you drive or the brand of clothing you wear.

To us, the word rich is a way of life - one that embodies fulfillment, balance, and compassion for others. Here at brass, our motto is "young today, rich tomorrow." Central to this motto is philanthropy. We recognize that our actions today will make the future rich, not only for ourselves, but the world we live in.

Helping others and giving back are concepts we strongly embrace and promote. Whether it is speaking at local high schools or sponsoring the Children's Miracle Network, we share our success. We have donated copies of brass to groups, including a camp for pediatric HIV patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and are currently heading an initiative to get copies out to tens of thousands of high school students. In this very issue we have ads donated to the American Red Cross and American Indian College Fund. We believe these actions define worth, value, AND rich.

Bill Gates is certainly rich, and not strictly in a financial sense. He recently donated $2.3 billion to educational initiatives and has donated over $27 billion to date through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through his financial success and the commitment by his wife, Gates has donated more than anyone in the world - ever.

Being rich doesn't necessarily require financial capital. Undeniably, every one of the 15 million kids and teenagers between the ages of 8 and 18 who donated over $926 million last year to tsunami relief funds is rich.

Age doesn't limit one's ability to be rich either. In 2000, 4 year-old Alexandra (Alex) Scott was diagnosed with the aggressive childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, and set up a lemonade stand to raise money for other child cancer patients through the Children's Medical Center. She continued for the next four years, until her death in 2004 at the age of eight. In 2004, her efforts created a national following responsible for raising over $1.5 million to fight childhood cancer. Alex will always be remembered as a rich person.

Regardless of age, financial means and circumstance, we all have what it takes to be rich. Now you know just what we mean when we say "young today, rich tomorrow."

Be rich. Be brass.

Bryan Sims, CEO