May 12, 2004

How Rich Are You?

My sisters and I often talk about how rich our lives are in our experiences, in our family, in the friends that surround us. Growing up, my dad (a tri-lingual former intelligence director) worked as a cashier at a grocery store for 27 years, bought a house and got five of us through college with a piddly salary, and my mom's hard work from home. As kids, we WORKED HARD. We helped our parents through tough times, we sold food at the county fair (since I was seven until I was 21), we labeled packages, and had assembly lines. Though we were allowed only one pair of shoes a year, wore hand-me-downs from the local charities, and were thrilled to receive one new toy under the Christmas tree, we never considered ourselves want for anything. In fact, we had a pretty perfect childhood and we look back on it rather fondly.

As an adult, single and financially stable, I always appreciated that I lived relatively comfortably - even when I'm unemployed and paying student loans. In fact, I think I even blogged about it a few blogs ago, aware I was 'up there' for what I ought to be grateful. I spent a year in Vietnam where the people I knew made $50 U.S. dollars a month (and sent money home to provide for their families outside of the city). I watched my cousins, who couldn't flee in 1975, selling fabrics in the 98-degree market - could've been me. Children playing with rubber bands, sticks and stones. My appreciation for my environment and opportunities, my life in America, for what I actually have, while always there, grew. I don't think most people realize how well off they are, but here's a REALITY CHECK. See how rich you are.

This is how I once stacked up in my last job (I've had six in ten years). Now that I'm retired/unemployed/a vagabond, I'm sure my ratings have dropped a few billion.

You are in the top 0.77% richest people in the world.
There are 5,953,760,935 people poorer than you.
Oh, and in case you’re interested you are the 46,239,065 richest person in the world.

Another thing to note: only 107,565 in the world make more than $200,000 a year.

It's a lot to be grateful for. And I'm happy to donate to several charities a year. If you're looking for a place to donate, please read about my friend Jeff Dreiblatt's Paradise Ride event and consider an hour's salary.

1 comment:

AV said...

It is glorious to be rich