I read a lot of news and all that and I think it's necessary to know what's happening around the world.
The ignorance I'm talking about is, the ignorance of the wealth, or material wealth of the people around you.
Someone around me bought a Rolex sometime back. The friends were like, "Oh wow, wow, I've always wanted a Submariner, etc etc."
One of the friends asked me, "Hey do you know XYZ bought a Rolex, wow, don't you feel like getting one too?"
No... not really. I don't really desire one, I mean, it someone is nice enough to give me that as a present I'll be really happy. But no. I have no intention of buying one. I ended up walking around with that friend looking at shops selling Rolex-es, seeing if there was any good deal with him. Eventually he didn't buy any.
Same friend told me his colleague bought a new car and was contemplating changing his car. I was like... "Whatttt? Seriously?? Why not just wait for your car to expire next year then get one then, selling now or trading in would not be worth it." The friend eventually also didn't get a new car.
But at both times, he was influenced or maybe he had the desire. 心痒痒 they call it, the heart is itchy.
Another acquaintance around us bought a Porsche (it's pronounced as "Por-sha", not "Por-shay").
This time he didn't even bother looking around, he knew it was out of his league but yet he was like "Woah, so good hor. So nice."
When I heard about it, I was pretty much, "Uh... OK."
So where am I going this this. This is just one friend whom I know who got affected by the people around him. There are other friends who are in the same circle, and I also know that they were affected by the stuff that others have.
What do I mean by affected? Basically, by this knowledge that someone has something that you don't have, they felt jealous or inadequate. Even if only for a short while.
To me, that's unhealthy. Think about it, you have maybe 10 close relatives, 10 close friends, maybe 50 other acquaintances/colleagues whom you hang around during work and such. That's around 70 people. Someone's bound to be buying something new and fancy at the time you meet them. If you average it out, each may only buy 1 item a year, but when they look around, they see people buy something new every 5 days. If you take 365 day / 70 ppl, you will get external stimulus every 5 days!!! So you will have a shot of jealousy every week! Which might make you (them), think, "How come their life is so good, and here I am, cannot afford it."
In another circle of friends, someone bought a Lexus. I went out for lunch with someone from the group and he was lamenting, "Did you know YYY bought a Lexus, wow, and it's a new-ish model. Maybe second hand, we don't know but... still wow. I wonder when I'll be able to afford an Audi."
I told him, "Dude, you can afford the Audi, you just can't bring yourself to buy it." He's the same as me. He's pretty frugal and cannot bring himself to buy expensive stuff. But yet he desires them when he sees others afford it.
We talked about this and realized where the flaw was.
His mentality is that he will not buy the Audi until he has a certain earning power or AUM. Maybe his limit where he feels comfortable to buy and Audi is $1 mil. So his conclusion is that YYY is probably doing very well cos YYY has bought the Lexus so YYY MUST be close to $1 mil.
Obviously this thinking is flawed. Cos different people different priorities. They may be comfortable getting the Lexus when their AUM is at $10,000. As long as their income can sustain it.
We all know this. And yet, we all get jealous and get affected by it.
I was looking through Carousell recently. There's a lot of funky stuff if you search through it all. I chanced upon some replica (read as fake) watches, and there was a nice Submariner. It was $180, my horns started to grow and my tail started showing. Should I or should I not. It would be fun to get a pair of male and female watches, and flash it around at my friends. Making everyone jealous that an unemployed guy is able and willing to spend on a nice Rolex. Then again, it's $180 x2 (-.-) just to prove a point not for my own benefit...
Anyway, so for me, ignorance is bliss. I try not to know about these stuff. I don't really like hearing about others getting stuff. It's not that I'm affected or jealous. It's rather that I think it's pointless. It's pretty much... So? It doesn't improve my life. It's just an object. You don't tell me that you bought a new rice cooker right? I may even be more interested in a new rice cooker cos THAT may improve my life. Easier to clean, faster to cook, whatever.
And the thing is, if you bring it up to me, means you are probably affected or Wow-ed by it. And if you're a close friend, I'd be thinking, "come on, you're better than that right?"
Think about it. If you had a friend. Bill Gates. And he bought a Ferrari. Would you go, wow he bought a Ferrari? No right? Why? Cos you know he can afford it.
Why when someone around you buys a Ferrari, you will go Wow?
Cos they are close to your situation. You're benchmarking against them.
If they can afford it, I should be able to as well. Why can't I buy it, something must be wrong with me!
And yet many people don't realize that the Lexus, Porsche, Rolex, Hermes, Europe trip, whatever, are usually all bought by different people and they are once off purchases for the whole year.
And yet, when the bunch of people get together, people benchmark against everyone in the group. It's like 1 comparing with 69, and it's happening to each/most of the 70 in the group. So when they gather, it's like a fashion parade each trying to outdo each other.
So no. I don't really need to know about these things. But how's your family? And your kids? I'd like to know, are they doing well? How's work, are you coping well? Is it fun? Oh dear, is someone sick, are they getting better? If you're close enough, I care about you as a person and how you are doing. Not about the stuff that you have or the stuff that other people have. It's just... not... important...
It's the same idea as, if you stay in a terrace house. You stay in the center unit. No one has moved into the units at the right and left side of you. You are happy. Then someone moves in on the left side of you. You find out that he is deep in debt and earns half your salary. His car is a run down old car. You feel happier cos you're doing better than him, then another guy moves in on the right side of your house, he's 30 yrs old and retired, he has an AUM of $10 mil and goes and plays golf and travels around. His car is bigger than yours. Now you feel jealous and inadequate. Doesn't make sense right? The situation still hasn't changed, you're still staying in the same house, with the same car with the same income. Your happiness should be the same as when you had no neighbours.
I'll end today with a quote which I posted previously at this post.
“The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.” - Louis C.K.