Lately I’ve read and heard an abundance of stories from the affluent and business leader personalities talking about how their poor upbringing made them great. Their entire public personality is based on glorifying once being poor and now reaching success.
Let me share the truth. I grew up with way below average household income and guess what? Looking back, it fucking sucked. I didn’t know better at the time because it was just normalcy. Nothing about the way I lived should be celebrated.
When I became a teenager, I was looking down on those who were born into above average households and didn’t have to struggle. It wasn’t until hitting my first million dollars and realizing how hard it was to get there; I was subconsciously jealous of the fact that those with silver spoons didn’t have to struggle. I wasn’t better than them because I earned my money. This was a moment of self-realization of my own foolish thoughts.
I learned success should be celebrated regardless of how it’s achieved. If someone has the means to buy a Ferrari and in cash from their trust? Good for them. Given the choice, why should anyone have to grind? Be at the risk of developing prejudice against those well off and develop low self-esteem. If I had kids, I wouldn’t put them through the same hardship.
Those hypothetical scenarios where someone asks you if you’d take a million dollars or a chance to build million-dollar business, which would you, choose? You take the million dollars of course. Over time, no one will care how you got it.
I agree there’s a level of grit and perseverance developed in hardships, which can be motivating. It also makes for a good story because they reached success. Personally I try not to bring up my upbringing in social settings because I think it’s a little embarrassing. No one talks about the risks of being poor because they think there’s nothing to lose when you’re poor. I have met people who lost everything or always had nothing — Things can get a lot worse. The world always feels small. Luxuries are fantasy from a storybook. Being poor can make you constantly desperate.
If being poor was so motivating, why don’t those affluent and business leaders who glorify it stay poor and donate their earnings? Because it sucks.
Don’t buy the bullshit. Success is measured how smart you are at achieving it, not only about how hard you worked to get it.
***Update: I got a few messages about my notion of celebrating those born with silver spoons. I don’t mean we should celebrate those who have money and don’t work. My opinion is everyone should work in some shape or form to understand their potential capabilities.