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Wealth Envy

Question:

i have a problem with my feelings and emotions and attitude towards people which have better luck and better life than me. i envy rich kids who drove benzes to school and kids in my university who had money to buy everything their heart desired. i kept blaming my fate and sometimes the anger will kept me in a very bad mood. i am very depressed with my feelings. Tell me how to solve this problem.

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Answer:

The personal inadequacy you’ve written me about is pretty common, I think. We live in a world with dramatic extremes of wealth. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements that tell us that we are inadequate but can be okay if only we would purchase a particular product. So it is easy to begin to believe the seductive lie that riches will make you a better person. Or that there is something wrong with you for being poor or just not wealthy. But – the simple truth is that the rich are much like you and I – at least psychologically. They are more materially comfortable than most – but they have the same foibles and problems that any human being has. To address your problem I think you might benefit by beginning to exam just why it is that you feel so very inadequate about your (lack of) wealth. This would be best done with a counselor or a therapy group. Consider also that you may have developed a particular style of thinking that makes you more rather than less depressed. You compare yourself with “rich kids who drove benzes” – but I note that you have been to university. Consider that simply attending university is a sign of vast wealth for much of the world. You are comparing yourself “up” (and of course failing) rather than looking “down” and being grateful for what you have. Consider meditating on this thought every morning, “What do I have to be grateful for today?” – if the answer if ever “nothing” you are doing something wrong.

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