Often when I encounter a heated controversy that involves a rich, privileged people being a self-centered jackass, one of the first things people say is “money can’t buy you attitude”. As much as I’d like it to be true, I wholly disagree with that notion. For a good reason.
Whether you grow up to be a saint or a jackass, I believe much of what makes you who you are today come from the external environment. A kind person could turn into an asshole if they grew up in a rough upbringing. Relatively young, open-minded individuals might someday become a key leader for hard line conservatives if they don’t pay attention to who they surround themselves with. And so I thought, if the most robust type of personality can be cracked with years of constant pressure from the outside, what makes you think that money, one of the most powerful denominator in our life, can’t change who we are inside?
Speaking like an all the wiser figure, I want to instill my own experience to this because I believe it holds some relevance to what we’re talking. I was once this shy, scrawny fella who was pretty ignorant to what’s happening outside. I didn’t really know how to behave nor I had any idea how to preserve a well-mannered attitude until I was exposed to the condition that forced me to.
It wasn’t until I started my own business that I had the opportunity to view this world in a wider lens. It wasn’t until I had to speak up for myself that I had the opportunity to talk with more people and learn what it was like to be on their shoes. I learned a lot because those experience equipped me with the lesson I will never trade for anything else. I grew as a person and acquired a new attitude because of that. Simply put, that experience changed me who I am and thank God it was for the better.
I’m not gonna sit here and lie it wasn’t because of money because it was. My father supplied me with money so I could run it first although my dumb ass couldn’t manage those money and went bankrupt just after a while. However, my point still stands. No money, no attitude because the money exposed me to that learning opportunity.
We need to be on the same page that money is not just a tool to purchase something. Even more, it can be used as a mean to access more opportunities, more education content, and more knowledge in general. I’ve said it earlier that my hypothesis was founded under the assumption that years of constant exposure to vast choices of perspectives and knowledge can change who we are and I still believe it now.
Do you know why the rich are getting richer everyday? Magic? No. Corruption? Maybe, but highly unlikely. Probably because they keep hanging out with other high net worth individuals and positively reinforce each other. If you hang out with 5 parking guy, you will be the sixth parking guy. If you hang out with 5 bouncer, you will also be the sixth. So on and so on.
Do you seriously think that people who have been jackasses their whole life won’t grow a pair of new found attitude after being exposed to such positive ecosystems for a while? I don’t buy it, and neither should you.
“But Evan, how about all these arrogant pricks who have done nothing but flaunt their money on my face? Clearly, money doesn’t buy them attitude!”
Well, I’m not saying money absolutely buys you a good attitude because it doesn’t. Always remember that what constitutes our behavior comes down to internal and external factors. Can we disregard one of the factor to determine our attitude? No. Can the external factor be so strong in effect that it makes the internal one succumb to the pressure? Absolutely yes, and that’s my whole point.
So, next time you see a wealthy fella says something arrogant or unsettling, my advice is don’t pull the “money can’t buy you attitude” card because it only makes you look bitter and salty for being broke.
Also, it’s not true because money can buy you attitude. Whether you choose to use it or not is a different topic for another day.