When I was studying engineering, me and my friends would think of starting a business and doing ‘something’ different. We’d evaluate several ideas and then give up because most of them required us to step out of our shoes – which we were not comfortable with. One of my friends blamed it on our belonging to ‘middle class’. His theory was like this –
“We have been brought up in middle class families. In order to become really successful – one has to either be born in a poor or very rich family. If you are born in a rich family, anything you do quickly finds success. Or you simply don’t have to do anything to ‘prove yourself’. He’d refer one of our friends who managed to get sufficient marks in engineer and had his very successful family business to run. He knew now matter how he performed in engineering – he had to run his business. He just had to change gears and make already successful things more successful.
On the other hand, if you are born in a poor family; the ‘need’ pushes you to cross the limits and come out of situation. There’s no one to laugh at your failures. You can fail several times and all your failures go unnoticed. So you can sell newspapers and make money – and it’s perfectly alright.
But those born in middle class are ‘watched’ by their peers & neighbors. We are required to follow a certain path that everyone else in our ‘class’ follows: Good Education – Good Qualifications – Well Paying Job. Even if I want to earn just few bucks on my own – I can’t go and become a newspaper boy. I can’t go and work in Dominos. Because if I do, my neighbours will come and ask my family whether I’m in my senses – and my family would then not allow me to do ‘smaller jobs’ – which don’t go well with my education. That’s why we are afraid of taking risks. We always think “What will people say?””
Unfortunately, most of us took the regular path. One took GRE and now works in US. Others joined Infosys, L&T Infotech and so on. I’m sure they’re happy with their lives and following their dreams which mostly are about buying a flat in Pune and quitting their jobs some day to become a ‘consultant’. May I call these dreams ‘the middle class dreams’?
I’ve had opportunity to interact with and be in the circle the non-middle class folks – The Rich. The way the talk and speak is totally different from what the middle class folks talk. Their plans, their ideas, their actions – everything is different. I was actually surprised to observe their attitude towards money. I believe there’s lot to learn for everyone. What I liked the most about these people is that these people are the decision makers. They don’t keep worrying about problems – they solve them – head on! To be frank, it feels great to be in their circle and wanting to be like them. Not its not greed for money, but I liked their attitude towards life.
The question is – do you like being middle class? Are you happy with your current financial situation/status? If yes, no issues. If no, what are you doing about it other than buying mutual funds? Or have entered into an agreement with yourself that middle-class is the way to living tension-free life. If true, are you living tension-free life?