Wealth comes in many forms: it is found in relationships and the other unseen riches that come with peace of mind and heart but more often it is viewed in terms of material assets - money and possessions. The true spiritual perspective goes forgotten.
Occupants of different pillars of society are expending much energy in criticism over the differential between the comparatively rich and the comparatively poor, targeting the financial services sector in particular, but the distortion goes far beyond bankers' pay and may lie closer to home than is comfortable.
While money remains the underlying value of most of the world, desire for wealth and envy of those who have it are a potent motivator for action and reaction. Having, keeping and increasing assets are aims which drive people and institutions: most established churches have huge riches even if the priests are poorly paid, as do the big charities - millions in assets which lie unused except to gain in value. The luxury lifestyle of celebrity footballers and other entertainers provides sometimes food for gossip, often admiration and emulation. Meanwhile many people judge high corporate salaries without recognising that equalising pay would not result in more jobs and income for those who need them however unfair the disparity may seem.
Money is a tool to be respected and used wisely for our survival and relative comfort, and to help those who are in need. It is not for hoarding or to be wasted or to hurt others. There is nothing wrong in hard work and professional ability being rewarded and those rewards being shared through altruistic philanthropy. If a farmer acquires more land let it be to produce more food and to help the environment. Let the highly-paid celebrities donate to help their communities, and rather than criticising bankers' pay, let the church leaders and politicians look to their consciences also.
Wealth can create selfishness but it can also be a means of re-balancing inequity and be an opportunity to demonstrate compassion. It is a gift and a responsibility, a loan from Spirit for a day or a lifetime to teach us and help us grow through how we use it. Wealth is not in itself bad. It is neutral.
Let us remember there is an alternative spiritual perspective on wealth as the chorus of disapproval of high salaries grows louder, even if you do not agree with it, and let us not add to all the judgment. There are two sides to this situation as occurs so often, and being sanctimonious – or hypocritical? - really does not help.