up knowing my family was wealthy. I was eight years old
when I asked,"Daddy, are we rich?" His answer was an astonishing,
"Yes." From that day on, my parents answered all of my questions
about wealth, but they were adamant that I never discuss
the topic with anyone else. I grew up feeling different
from my peers and not knowing how to respond to people asking
me about my money. Wealth was a dirty little secret I carried
around in my back pocket.
all talk about money, but the subject would repeatedly come
up. I did not know how to respond to money questions from
people who didn't understand how I could afford certain
luxuries. My peers magnified in their own minds what I felt
were mere subtle differences in lifestyle. In their eyes,
I stood for all that they did not have. It was a heavy burden
to carry around and one from which I could not escape.
school, a new dimension was added to the financial divide
between my peers and me. Some of my wealthy classmates displayed
an attitude superior to everyone else. They believed that
wealth brought them elevated social status and bragging
rights. "If this is what being 'out' about money looks like,"
I thought, "I certainly don't want people thinking I'm like
that!" My worst fear in life was being stereotyped as "the
I continued living in denial for years, pretending to myself
that I wasn't rich, thereby denying a part of myself and
feeling very guilty for having wealth.
world turned around three years ago when I attended a conference
for young people with significant wealth. For the first
time, I felt safe enough to discuss my financial situation
with non-relatives. The supportiveness of the conference
group allowed me to tap into feelings I had suppressed for
years. For the first time in my life, I was with people
who knew exactly what I was going through. I returned home
full of confidence and pride in my values and myself.
now that my friends know about my money; however, they value
my personality over my checkbook. I use my uncommon financial
situation to encourage others to be open-minded about unique
people. Brutal honesty about my wealth may be returned with
strange looks at first, but my hope is that people will
learn to accept the diversity of people in the world. I
am active in philanthropy and feel that my money and time
can be used to help organizations that need vital resources.
I will never again feel guilty for being blessed with money,
because my intentions are sincere and I am on a mission
to prove just that.
- anonymous author
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