Weekly Thoughts 23 June 2017

While on the motorbike trip that I mentioned I did in Lesotho in May, I had a conversation with a youngster (eventually the old guy’s son is old enough to join the trip) around the camp fire one evening. He couldn’t believe I was a Michaelhouse parent who drove a Toyota Corolla. This was amazing to him. After explaining to him that I only paid a fraction of the costs due to a scholarship my son achieved, I went on to explain to him that true wealth is about how much you save, not about how much you spend, or appear to spend. I then spoke to him about wealth being a relative thing. I used materialistic items to prove the point. I said, so the chap who lives down the road and goes to the game in his Porsche Cayenne, and I go in my Corolla. Do we both get there? Yes, he said. He lives in a massive old house worth five times my house. Do we both sleep on a bed and watch the same TV? Yes. If I prepare my sandwich on a melamine kitchen counter and he prepares his on a granite kitchen counter, will the sandwich taste different? No, he said. If we both have private medical aid, can we both get the same hospital care? Yes, he said. Then I said, ok, so maybe we don’t have the same holiday opportunities, but otherwise, how much better is his life than mine, compared to 98% of the world’s population? He saw my point. The lightee went away with things to think about. It’s all relative. And deserving to those that can afford it. That’s not the point. Just the relativity of it. And to realise opportunity and privilege. Good conversations are had with people in circumstance like those.