[ 4 min read ]
Being a rich person.
Being a poor person.
Being a member of the middle class.
Being a member of the working class.
Being a struggling artist / writer.
Being a child.
Being an adult.
Being a single parent.
Having petty, so called imagined, problems.
Having the so called “real problems”.
Not having anything to worry about.
Having everything to worry about.
There is no life of a human being that isn’t real. Even when you’re a lunatic (which I believe we all are in one way or another — without exceptions) your life is real.
I don’t know why people who are rich, or who are the members of the upper middle class believe sometimes that their lives aren’t real lives. That, on the other hand, the life of a garbage collector or a bum is real.
Why do they think that way? Is it another way of telling yourself “I’ve made it.”?
If you start having thoughts that your life might not be real (because you can afford so many things and the majority of people can’t) it automatically means to you that you achieved a certain status in the society. Being a member of the top 1% (or 5, or 10%) of the world population gives people this weird idea that what they have does not qualify as real life.
They fancy the idea that their lives are not real anymore (that they aren’t part of the big mass of average, “normal” people anymore, that theirs are the prerogatives of the haves, that they’re living a dream, even if it’s someone else’s dream — because they made it), but, at the same time, they feel some kind of a weird interest, sometimes even an obsession (of which Leo Tolstoy is the best example — the best I know) when they look at the lives of so called “real people” (“real people” who have “real problems” and whose lives are “real” — the rest of the society).
I think it’s bullshit. They like to believe that since they made it (since they’re members of 1%, or whatever) they entered some other world. They fancy the thought. They indulge in thinking of themselves as gods (or semi-gods).
Once I was a semi-god too. The majority of people who finish law school and additional training for attorneys believe they’re not “normal / average” people anymore. Same with those who finished med schools or got other fancy titles. And they start to think, which becomes one of their pleasures, that their lives are not real.
Everything is real. The fact that today you have it all and you’re a lawyer or a doctor or the president or CEO of whatever, or the archbishop of whatever, or that you have some other kind of power (big or small), never is a guarantee that tomorrow you will not lose it all and become a member of the 99% and have what you call a “real life” (or that your life will become by any degree more real).
They forget that the advantage of their position is accidental and, more often than not, only temporary. It is also often only imagined, the advantage (as we tend to overlook the disadvantages of an advantageous position).
Leo Tolstoy said “The accident that has today made me a Solomon may tomorrow make me a Solomon’s slave”. It’s 100% true. Which means that in a matter of seconds your life might change from “unreal” to “real”. You might go bankrupt, or find out that you’ve got cancer (or someone in your family has got it), or you might kill someone in a car accident (because you had to check your e-mail).
You’re basically bullshitting yourself if you believe that your life isn’t real. It’s a yet another form of telling yourself that you’ve made it and entered some other world. It’s tantamount to bragging.
You’re still part of the same world. You think you’re not, but you are. Same rules apply, although you prefer to think otherwise. You can think it’s different for you, but you’ll stop the moment life punches you in the mouth.
In other words, the fact that you’re living in this rich or middle class people’s bubble (and are aware of it), that your reality is so different than the reality of an immigrant who works minimum wage jobs, or a refugee, or of an average person who is either a member of a working class, or of a lower middle class with aspirations of one day joining the middle class, doesn’t mean that you’re in some way protected, immune even. You’re not. Tomorrow your life may change drastically and because of that it is just as real as the life of a working class person, an immigrant, a refugee, etc.