We are not very rich

Know who you are, not try to pretend to be more and be the best possible

When someone is introduced to a new culture, it is common for them to face what is called “cultural shock”, a process by which they tend to focus on the differences with their usual environment and draw extreme conclusions, both for and against. Either he is passionate about some of the things he sees, or they seem ridiculous to her.

A few months ago, my best friend returned to Spain, after having been living in Mexico for three years. The youngest of his daughters, my goddaughter, was in the throes of culture shock when she came to see us at home. The elevator (there it is called an elevator) seemed ridiculously small to him. My house, 115 square meters, was like a dollhouse for her; I walked through everything with my eyes wide open, trying to make sense of her curiosity.

Her spontaneity allowed her to make a comment with each new discovery. After a while, while she was playing with my little daughter, they had this little conversation:

“Why do you live in such a small house?”

To which my daughter, with the naturalness that only a girl can, responded said: “We are not rich.”

Quite a lesson.

If someone had told me before that day that I was rich, I would have concluded that they were obviously not aware of my financial situation, however, my daughter was spot on.

I have always defended the idea that if there are more than two foods on the breakfast table: milk (preferably vegetable) and cookies or cereals, we have more than what is necessary to live, we live in opulence, but it is rare that we appreciate it.

Let’s stop with nice phrases:

Beauty is not internal, it is another thing that is important in a personal relationship.

The richest is NOT the one who needs the least, but the one who has the most, but it is easy for his greed to prevent him from enjoying his wealth.

The good thing is, the longer it lasts, the better.

I do not intend to demagogue my daughter’s phrase, I simply think that she puts us quite well in our place.

We are not very rich, because if we have more than three meals for breakfast, we can afford an extracurricular activity for each child, and we have all the bills paid – electricity, water, telephone (mobile and internet) and even health insurance – we are rich even if by the 20th of each month the bank account has negative numbers. Each month.

For some strange reason, however, it is okay to complain about money. Saying that we live “on the edge.” I know few people in my environment, all of them “not very rich”, who, when you ask them “how are things going?”, do not take the opportunity to express a complaint, usually financial.

On the contrary, if someone told us “I’m doing great, I have everything I need”, it is easy for us to look at them with suspicion.

In my work I serve some rich families, many “not very rich” and several that have less than what is necessary to live with the minimum that our society has established as a standard. The latter are the only ones from whom I have never heard a complaint (regarding their situation), and the ones that convey the greatest hope, probably because it is what they have the most of.

How necessary it is to live aware that we have what we need and more often than we believe, we have more. I don’t know when we were inoculated with the idea that “you deserve more” and it is curious, because it is false, but it also leads us to a quasi-perennial dissatisfaction. What some call “healthy ambition”, which wouldn’t be bad at all if it allowed us to enjoy what we have.

Often this “healthy ambition” leads us to make the most absurd sacrifices. When someone has been promoted in their job category, it is common to hear that “they have to dedicate many more hours” and simultaneously that “the salary increase is small.” Result: you will see your family much less, and you will continue to be “not rich.”

The truth is that my house is big enough, more than enough I would say, we can all fit in the elevator at home and there are more than three foods on the breakfast table. That’s what we have, but to a girl’s innocent question, “Why do you live in such a small house?”, my daughter responded with a description: “We are.”

That’s the key. Know who you are, not try to pretend, be more and be the best possible.