Today in one of my classes, we had the students complete a quick write over the hopes and dreams of the lower class versus those of affluence. We gave them two minutes to write, and then we discussed it as a group. I’ve been thinking about this topic ever since this morning, and I feel the need to elaborate on it. The italicized portion is my initial quick write.
The hopes and dreams of the lower class and the affluent may appear the same on a surface level. Everyone wants a roof over their head, plenty of food on the table, enough money to cover their bills, and a better life than the previous generation. However, when digging deeper, the hopes and dreams are very different. For the lower class hopes and dreams may be as simple as a first family member attending and graduating college or joining the military for steady work. On the contrast the more affluent may dream of trips that cost a lower class person’s yearly salary or having more material items.
The more I thought about this topic today; the more I thought about the influence that people of affluence have on the lower classes. I immediately thought of negative or falsified influence. For example, you see the pictures in some magazines and on some websites that taut how celebs are just like us “regular” people. These pictures will be of things like celebrities going to the grocery, working out, or shopping for clothes. On the surface it seems great that “regular” people have something in common with millionaires, but is this accurate? I consider myself a pretty “regular” person, but what a celebrity looks like grocery shopping is totally different than what I look like. First of all, I’m typically shopping for the store brand (aka team Great Value) whereas they are shopping fancy pants brands that I have to Google to know what they are. Likewise, when I work out, it is either at home or outdoors in my spare time. The just like me celebs on the other hand are working out two hours a day with a personal trainer for multiple days a week at their five star gym. Aside from the fact that we’re exercising, we really don’t have anything else in common here. The same could be said for shopping for clothes. I’m happy to shop at Ross and find a bargain while the “just like me” celeb is shopping brands that cost more than my mortgage. Thankfully, I’m happy with my “regular” status, but I feel like some people are negatively influenced by this affluence. Some people tend to rate their personal worth by how they compare with someone of affluence.
Along the same lines, I think it is important to establish that hopes and dreams don’t all involve material things often touted by those of affluence. As an example, I don’t need a new Bentley every year for my birthday. I’m happy to get a new (or even new to me) Kia every ten years. More important to me are dreams like financing LilKsby’s education, taking fun (not necessarily lavish trips) with him and Mr Kisby, and not having to stress about paying bills on time. I don’t need a private jet or an entourage to make myself feel fulfilled in life. Are there big things I’d like to do? Sure. But my life isn’t tragic without them.
All this said, I realize that there are people of affluence that do positive things with their money like donate to charity, finance missions, etc. I’m very thankful for these actions! In fact, I would love to see more about this kind of affluence than so and so’s latest trip to their private island. What do you think about the influence of affluence?
The Great Kaysby