I’ve never thought of my family as rich. Yes, we had a little more money than some people, but our expenses were also a little bigger. I don’t remember my family ever having tons of extra money laying around like Money-May does, we didn’t do trips every summer like some of my friends (we DID do trips, but not every summer), I had classic clothes not fads, I didn’t have all the dolls or all the dvds or video-games that my friends had, whatever my brothers and I had was a direct result of my parents putting in hours and hours at work. We were very very middle class. But I realized just the other day that what I did have was choice, and that made all the difference.
Choice, I’ve come to realize, is the preserve of the rich. I realized that when you take away the big houses and the fancy cars and the louis vuittons and the red bottoms and the prada and the Jimmy Choos, what is left is choice. If you really think about it, a good amount of people go into prostitution and mining and any other ridiculously dangerous job you can think of because they have to – maybe it pays more than more ‘honorable’ work, maybe they’re unable to find more ‘honorable’ work, whatever it is – they were between a rock and a hard place and they picked that. When Serena Williams decided that she wanted to go to school and become
of all things a nail technician, everyone figured, ‘Okay!’. I mean, she is worth millions, if she wants to sit around and paint people’s toes then she must really like toes. Jing over at Happy Nails down the road from me, not so much – she came from China and she needed a job and that’s probably all she could find.
Realizing that was really eye opening for me and I decided that’s why I will work like a junkyard dog today – so that my children can have options like I did – the option to go to private school rather than public, the option to move to the US when it became time for college, the option to move to Chicago and do research, the option to apply to top five business schools… Options and opportunities…
PS: Money-May = Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr. and this is the video that I was referring to above.