The Rat Race

He can say this in front of me, but never in the presence of his girlfriend. I am reminded of my last job where I worked for a company which was  an Israeli and venture capital backed by them. There was this blonde haired girl who always wanted to go to Pret A Manger (which is an upscale sandwich shop) One day I suggested I was going to get pizza and her and her coworkers scoffed. “Pizza does not qualify as lunch.”  I shrugged my shoulders, laughed and went down the street to get pizza with myself. She also did not eat Turkish, Indian or anything from the Middle East.

From that point on I always knew when someone asked for my input where we were going to lunch as a group I always made it a point to suggest Turkish, Indian or Middle Eastern food.

A long time ago my ignorant self who once asked. Why do Muslim people become suicide bombers? The Muslim person turned to me in disgust and said something to me I’ll always remember. “The reason people like us are suicide bombers is because we’re poor. We have nothing so we have to resort to blowing our selves up. What he meant by this was Palestinian people live in poverty while Israelis have pushed them off their land since World War II. The Israeli military is funded heavily by the United States and all the while Israelis enjoy a high standard of living. So understandably Israeli girls expect to be wined and dined.

There is also a book Daryl White once asked me to read. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He says most people will always say they want to save more but it fails to happen because the more money they make the more money they spend. It is what he calls the rat race (think of a hamster getting exercise on a spinning wheel).  He takes us through the life journey of a tyipcal person. When you graduate college and get an entry level job you usually don’t make much money so live with roommates or at home to keep costs down. They you get a raise but you have a girlfriend you have to spend money on. When you find a girlfriend you like you move in with her, to keep costs down but you have other expenses. Afterwards you get married and then the two of you want to buy a house or car and have a mortgage payment. After you have a house and mortgage and car payment then you eventually have children and need to pay for them. Before long you need to save up for your children’s college. The author makes the point, you will make more money but as you do, your standard of living goes up and so do the expenses.

He suggests that when you want to make any big purchase you ask yourself where this extra money will come from or if you have enough disposable income, it’s not a question of whether you can afford it. It is whether you need it. So the author drove around a used jalopy for years until he became a millionaire.

My friend is already starting to see this come true. He can always be as cheap as he wants with me. But the lesson learned. He is never…and I mean ever to say that to his girlfriend.

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