The other day, I saw a really funny tweet. It said, ‘if you don’t have money, everything you say at a family meeting sounds confusing’ or something to that nature.
I laughed at first but I then realised how normal it is for the ones without material riches to not be taken seriously, and how family members who are ‘well off’ get almost automatic respect. People, especially family members, don’t recognise you when you don’t have money.
As if money makes a person more deserving of respect or it means they are a decent person.
To top it off, we live in a world where if you’re not up to date with the latest trends or gadgets, you’re looked down. We are a generation ashamed of our humble beginnings; ashamed of not being part of the trendy crowd, or not having the latest whatever – ashamed of being left behind, and ashamed of how others may perceive our lives.
Yes, people may judge – even make fun of your lifestyle if it’s not up to their social standards. However, not being able to afford certain privileges is nothing to be ashamed of. You have to realise that people who shame you for it are superficial. Their happiness, in most cases, depends on the material things they own, which is a sad way to live your life if you think about it.
We need to stop the stigma against the poor and less fortunate, especially loved ones.
Our lives are not the same. It’s not a competition. Our paths and priorities are different but we all remain human.
Respect me with or without money, or whatever shiny object you deem a necessity – they do not define me.
You will not escape the judgment of others in life. But we give it meaning.
If we give it meaning, we give it power over our thoughts – and consequently, our lives. So learn to ignore it; don’t give it any significance.
We will forever be enslaved by social norms if we let others and their judgments dictate our lives. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery!
These are the thoughts that drive us to do irrational things like living beyond our means; buying stuff we can’t afford with money that is supposed to pay for rent, borrowing money to go on trips just to be able to post on social media, accumulating debt so you are up to date with the latest trends and fashion, etc.
All in the name of proving what? To who? Those people who don’t care about your well-being? If you think about it, what is it to them whether or not you possess these things?
You don’t owe anybody a “perfect life” – whatever that is. But you DO owe yourself a happy life. Whatever that means to you, go for it.
• Paula Christoph’s column concentrates positive and inspirational write-up’s every second Friday in the New Era newspaper.