The "new better off," as I've come to call it,
is less about investing in the perfect family and more about investing in the imperfect village,
whether that's relatives living under one roof, a cohousing community like mine,
or just a bunch of neighbors who pledge to really know and look out for one another.
It's good common sense, right? And yet, money has often made us dumb about reaching out.
The most reliable wealth is found in relationship.
The new better off is not an individual prospect at all.
In fact, if you're a failure or you think you're a failure, I've got some good news for you:
you might be a success by standards you have not yet honored.
Maybe you're a mediocre earner but a masterful father.
Maybe you can't afford your dream home, but you throw legendary neighborhood parties.
If you're a textbook success, the implications of what I'm saying could be more grim for you.
You might be a failure by standards you hold dear but that the world doesn't reward. Only you can know.
I know that I am not a tribute to my great-grandmother,
who lived such a short and brutish life, if I earn enough money to afford every creature comfort.
You can't buy your way out of suffering or into meaning.
There is no home big enough to erase the pain that she must have endured.
I am a tribute to her if I live a life as connected and courageous as possible.