It has been interesting going away on holiday with my host family recently. I will not be speaking about them in this post, as I am speaking about things I've observed with other people.
Though I did not grow up around wealth, over the past few years I've seen a fair bit of it, through opera and nannying. I myself am far from wealthy by Western standards, but it is fascinating to see what life is like for those who are, and I have been lucky to experience some of the things which are generally reserved for the super rich.
Some wealthy people are incredibly generous; money is not an obstacle, and they are grateful for what they have. I have often seen those more well-off humbly giving those less well-off a bit of a hand - some money in the hand, a purchase of an item that is not needed or wanted for the sole purpose of helping out a street seller, and donations to various causes. I myself have benefited, when such people think my work of sufficient merit and/or potential. Some wealthy people are incredibly selfish and elitist, thinking that if someone does not have a life like theirs or is struggling to advance in life, it is all their own fault.
Some wealthy people have excellent taste and purchase beautiful items of quality, which may or may not be expensive. They consider the environment and the plight of those who make the products. Some wealthy people will spend ridiculous amounts of money on hideous Gucci pants and fluffy shoes.
Some wealthy people drive ordinary (though pricier!) cars or use public transport like your average Joe. Some wealthy people buy a Lamborghini just to park outside a fancy casino and be seen.
Some wealthy people hire cleaners, nannies, and other staff and treat them with respect and as equal human beings. Some wealthy people hire house staff and treat them as slaves.
Some wealthy people are polite, kind, and respectful. Some wealthy people are entitled, arrrogant, and generally nasty people.
Some wealthy people are humble and of good character. Some wealthy people think the world revolves around them, and think they deserve to be treated better than others.
Some wealthy people are willing to be challenged and take on feedback. Some wealthy people want to only hear the word «yes», and surround themselves with people who will heed their every command.
Wealth and privilege are not bad things, when paired with good character. It is great to have resources available to utilise for different purposes. Wealth and privilege become bad when the power that comes along with them are not used well, and often at the expense of others, and eventually of oneself. I have seen both sides, and have learned from both. If one day I am in that position, I know which type of wealthy person I want to be!