I’ve been blessed to live a life I never imagined. Just last weekend, I met the Ambassador of Switzerland. My life, through my business, has afforded me some great privileges. But the biggest privilege isn’t the money, the access or the networking. It’s information and clarity.
It amazes me just how highfalutin and pretentious people get when they get a little bit of money. Suddenly their stomachs can’t handle fast food, or Olive Garden. Wal-Mart is “too ghetto”. Outback is beneath them. Their coffee needs to have a 7 word name with a $6 price tag. Seriously! Who exactly are you? Who are you to look down on the lives of hard working people? When did you become better than your parents? Better yet, when did you forget where you came from?
I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. I never went hungry. I always got new school clothes, and I always got gifts for Christmas. I never went without the things I needed. But I didn’t have many of the “extras” other had. I bought my first pair of Nikes AND my first vehicle. I put myself through school. And I’ve eaten so many packages of Ramen Noodles, that I could teach a culinary class at Johnson and Wales. I’ve worked since I was 12 years old. I mowed lawns, washed cars, I even sold candy in elementary school; anything I could to legally make money.
I looked forward to going to Searcy (a town in Arkansas about 30 mins from my house) because there was a chance we would stop at McDonalds or Pizza Hut! I LOVED McDonalds burgers and fries. And don’t even get me started on the shakes! When I joined the Navy, I was able to go to even more restaurants like Outback, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster; in addition to McDonalds and Pizza Hut. I was totally fine with that. And my friends were too. They didn’t come from money either, and they were as thankful as I was.
Since reaching a certain “level” of success, I meet a lot of people that turn their nose up at these places. Oddly, it’s not even the rich people that do it. It’s the people that are just starting to make a little money. Many of which are living check to check, or stay home while their spouse works. Somehow, THEY are “too good”. They weren’t “too good” when they were kids, but now they are. They roll their eyes when you mention Red Lobster, Longhorn or Waffle House. They make fun of Wal-Mart shoppers because Wal-Mart is “beneath them”. They go to Target – which they arrogantly pronounce Tarjey (like that makes it different from any other big box department store selling cheap goods). And don’t be a woman wearing the wrong purse or shoes. If you don’t have “name brand”, or can’t afford to eat or shop at “nice places”, they treat you as less than. What’s even MORE ironic i the ones that have the MOST to say usually aren’t even the ones paying the bill. But we won’t discuss that today.
The Bible warns us not to despise humble beginnings. There is nothing wrong with eating at “chain restaurants”. Shopping at Wal-Mart doesn’t make you less than anyone else. There are “ghetto people” in Target, just like there are in Wal-Mart. (BTW the average product at Wal Mart is 4 cents MORE EXPENSIVE than Target (just saying). Just because your bank account is increasing doesn’t make you too good to eat, shop, stay, and drive the same places and things everyone else does. There’s nothing wrong with eating or shopping anywhere you choose to eat or shop. But when you look down on those places, or the patrons that shop there, that’s VERY wrong. Be careful looking down on those who have less than you. After all, that’s probably how others once looked at YOU.
William Wilson, CEO William Wilson Clothing
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