Wealth tip /A Personal Story of Culture Shock

If you wish to make 30k a year hang out with those who make 30k.

If you wish to make 80k a year hang out with those who make 80k

If you wish to make 100k a year hang out with those who make 100k

If you wish to be a millionaire hang out with a millionaire…

I read in a book that you will make within 10k of your social circle.  We naturally interact with those who make the same as us.

Why is this?

I am no expert but I believe we prefer to hang out with those who relate and sympathize with us. We do not want to be pushed so we certainly do not push other people.  This includes ourselves. One can be uncomfortable when socializing in a brand new environment.  This goes for the wealthy associating with the lower classes and the lower classes associating with the wealthy.  If you are not used to wealth and you were to walk into a mansion you would automatically get that “Wow” factor.  Same thing happens when a person who knows nothing but wealth walks into a place of poverty.

  In 2004 I went to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip. It took our youth group a year to raise enough money to go.  Our goal was to build a school, bring in supplies for young children and mothers, and bring medical care, yes we had an entire medical team with us.   The TSA in the USA  was not thrilled about our suitcases of formula.  Apparently it looks like Cocaine. When we landed in the Dominican Republic we were treated like celebrities. Gates were put up between our group and the people. The people were waiting in large lines asking for hugs and hand shakes.

For a second I thought I stepped out of a limo on Hollywood Blvd.  I was extremely shocked the following day when the local people showed me their villages. Of course I have seen mud huts on Television ads and National Geographic Magazine.  Seeing it in real life is an entire shock of its own.  Amazingly everyone seemed very happy and generous. They did not know my home was not made out of mud.   I was astounded they were so happy living in leaky conditions. The beds were cardboard boxes laid out on the ground. The hand-woven blankets looked very comfortable and warm.  It was very different from my box spring mattress and quilt set I had. 

I passed out some candy bars to the local kids.  The older kids took the bars and broke them up amongst the younger ones, leaving the smallest pieces for themselves.  I walked away in culture shock.

On the way out of the Dominican Republic I was stopped by foreign security during the check point.  My bag went through the typical search process because they were unsure of what a nebulizer was.  They were extremely defensive at first because the nebulizer was bulky and looked like a bomb.  The language barrier did not help so I pointed to my fanny pack and slowly moved my inhaler out of the pocket.  I put the inhaler up to my mouth and then they started laughing.  One of the security guards waved me forward, I collected my nebulizer bag and was able to go onto the plane without incident. Breathing conditions are Universal.

By Western standards I am not in the 1 percent nor close to it.   Experiencing the Dominican Republic put me into a poverty vs. wealth shock.  I started asking myself..What would it be like to take one of these kids with me back to the USA? How would they feel? Would they be happy with all our amenities or would they feel miserable because of the lack of work there is to do? In most places we do not have to haul water to our homes for cooking. In fact I felt extremely lazy and I still do to this day.  We cut out a lot of work with our utility coverage in the Western world. Imagine what it would be like to haul water a mile to your home just to cook a meal or water your plants? This is why I say I feel lazy. I can walk into my bathroom and wash sweat off in an instant.

My Dominican Republic story is proof that anyone of any wealth status can feel a wealth shock when we are around a different income range.

Yes it is scary to socialize with a new group of people but it is important you take the time to do so at least once in your life! Know what it is like to feel third world poor for a day and know what it is like to feel like you have millions put in the bank!  Yes it is okay to splurge on a hair studio or a fancy spa day! I think more people should save up a portion of their income to do just that!  It is okay if you are wealthy to spend the night out in the woods with hardly anything at all and live off of only what fits in your bag. How can you help people in poverty if you do not know what it is like to be homeless?

Studies have shown that if you stay within one mentality that is all your going to receive. If you are not wealthy but you wish to be hang out with those who are right now! Who better to teach you wealth management then those who are already managing wealth?  If you socialize primarily with those in debt because your in debt you will probably only learn debt management.  If you wish to prove me wrong scroll through your friends list now.  No I am not saying leave behind those who you are close too!  Keep those who are close to you close! You could be hurting yourself by refusing to get to know new people! Be open to a bigger social circle without being afraid!  People love teaching people!  So why not learn marketing and savings plans from those who have mastered it?  That way you can help yourself and other people!

If you are wealthy and you want to experience homelessness then follow a homeless person around for a day. It is pointless to complain about other wealth classes because regardless of where you are at in society you are part of a wealth class!

Always remember that if you have running water, a roof over your head, one warm meal to eat a day, and heat you are wealthier then most of the world!

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