I Promise Never to Be a Millionaire

Robin Greenfield holding a bucket of plant barefoot, with
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I promise never to be a millionaire.

If all goes as planned, I will die with almost no money to my name. I’m dedicated to a life of service, and being a millionaire is not a part of that equation for me.

I will not be a millionaire by any financial standard, unless we re-think what it means to be a millionaire. Perhaps when I die, someone could add up all the value that I brought to the world: the fruits and vegetables grown from the gardens I built and the of seeds I gave freely, the fruit from all the Community Fruit Trees I planted, the community programs I helped to start, the money I raised for grassroots nonprofits, and so on, and perhaps it would add up to millions of dollars in value. Decentralized value, spread out for the wholistic well-being of humanity…now that’s my kind of millionaire. That is a millionaire label I could be truly proud of.

I refuse to measure my worth by what I have. Rather I measure my wealth by how I have contributed to humanity, Earth and the plants and animals we share this home with.

Some say “money makes the world go round.” Well, money is not what my life revolves around. For me, it’s about living a life of deep moral and ethical values and living for the benefit of Earth, our communities and all the plants and animals we share this home with. Typically, I haven’t seen owning huge sums of money to be beneficial for living a life in this manner. Instead, I see this as a path that leads to wanting more and more and more, typically burdening others and Earth. I see people with the best of intentions lose sight of it all once they get control of too much money.

Many would say I should wait to give until I invest my money and have a lot more money. The logic is that I could do more to be of service with this strategy. But from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t really seem to go that way once most people get that kind of money.

More importantly, I believe there isn’t time to keep all that money to myself. Now is the time when the resources are needed. Now is the time to provide basic needs to humanity. Now is the time for basic human rights and the rights of Earth and our plants and animals to be delivered. There is no waiting years or decades for me. If we all gave of ourselves and used our financial resources wisely today, we’d be in a position to contribute substantially to the well-being of our global society.
I’ll say it again, I promise never to be a millionaire. But I promise to spread the goodness and the love like few millionaires can.

Photo credit: Live Wonderful Photography – Planting a Community Fruit Tree in Orlando, Florida

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