I had a quick conversation with a good friend today who self-admittedly has struggled with jealousy periodically in her life. “She just wants your handbag or your nose or your hair or your house.” she said in reference to a lady she claims to know is currently jealous of me and my family. Then she made a hand gesture to indicate money. Apparently, her jealousy wasn’t so deeply felt after all?
I find that sad. Not “sad” as in pathetic, but sad as in that it’s tragic that a human could find themselves so overwhelmed by a desire for something they don’t have that they start to hate those who they think do have it. Those they know do, I suppose. And I think part of the reason I don’t feel jealousy is because I don’t let myself feel it… It’s illogical to me. Despising someone who has something you want doesn’t help you get what you want. Does it?
I’ve had women try to seduce my husband because they think he’s the source of my financial security or they just assume he’s financially blessed for other reasons. It’s never worked, and it never will but…it genuinely amazes me that they’d go that far for more money.
When I read people making dubious claims about the moral bankruptcy of the ultra rich or rich I find myself…depressed. As, from my experience, there truly are good people and bad people everywhere in every class.
Is that comforting? No.
That lady who can’t “make it” as a real estate agent (by her own admission) and giggles just a bit too much around my husband? Who has told my husband that she’s “in awe” of him and his mind? I know she’s not a good person. (She also likely doesn’t read this blog or even know about it, thankfully.) But, she’s not rich. Not by a long-shot. And, the first time she saw my husband she asked him questions about our car… Too many questions. …She drives a Kia.
But, there are (often older) men at certain country clubs with a lot of money. A lot. And, they might not be ultra-rich (as in over 100 million) but they’re rich (many millions). And when they see a 30-something woman who’s married they are “intrigued”. So many marriages get tired. Worn out… AND, they wonder about our marriage. They wonder… They wonder a bit too much. But they don’t really care. No. It’s just their own discontent and existential angst finding some way to soothe itself. Are they good people? Oftentimes (not always), they are not.
It’s nice to think that the party and real goodness is in the office with your co-workers who strive endlessly every day for their middle-class paycheck. It’s pleasant to think that safety is in the crowd of those like you at the nice places. And could there even be some truth to all of these clichés? Maybe. Maybe not…. But more likely, it’s just the way we make ourselves feel better. It’s not the truth.
There are good people and bad people everywhere. “Rich people aren’t different than us.” I once said in a college course. Another student was very upset by this… “But, they are!” she protested. I didn’t give in because I couldn’t. …There are good people and bad people everywhere.