Joy is not in things, it is in us.
The Richard Wagner quote “joy is not in things, it is in us” means that joy does not exist in material possessions, but within human beings. It cautions us against finding fleeting joy in material goods rather than in humans.
No matter how much money a person makes, it always needs and wants more. This greed isolates us from everyone. We are never content with our possessions and hence look for more. If we can’t afford something we desire of, at times we engage in crimes like pick-pocketing that increases as time passes. Thus, to avoid such things to happen, we need to learn to be satisfied with what we have earned.
There is more than one way to measure wealth. We can be “rich” in ways that have nothing to do with money such as friends, family, strength, health, knowledge, skill, character, etc. We need to make these valuable assets our ‘wealth’.
We are taxed on the money we have earned, but not on the knowledge, trust or relationships we earned. We can learn freely throughout our life and acquire a huge “bank account” of knowledge which cannot be stolen or diminished and can be taken with us to Heaven unlike material things and money.
Life has meaning through human society. Each of us does one small thing that moves society forward, which provides us immense pleasure in return. Loving our own self, allows us to love others.