Wealth

The wealth of nations is such a resonant phrase yet so difficult to define. There is the material wealth which can be defined as assets, incomings and outgoings. More interesting to me is the spiritual and cultural assets of a nation. Some years ago I spent twelve days at Tashi Lhunpo monastery in the Indian state of Karnataka. The Indian Government had given an area of land on which were five Tibetan monasteries and a Tibetan village, all of them refugees from Tibet seeking to preserve their culture. The Tibetan, Ladhaki and Nepalese men and boys in Tashi Lhunpo monastery were the sanest, happiest and most generous community I have ever encountered. Yet materially their wealth was utterly meagre.

Colin Dixon

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