How Money Makes People Aloof, Arrogant or Mean

Intro To The Science of Human Greed & Insular Privilege

A lot of well-meaning, well-to-do folks who try to have this conversation almost immediately

talk themselves out of it. You know why? Because it is a conversation one can only have once

they've taught themselves to be less self-absorbed. Less self-centered. And guess who makes

that all-important self-analysis call. Sorry. Not you! Why? Because while “it's not [your] fault

that [you're] rich”, “were born rich” and/or are “white”, the fact that if we proceed you

might soon “feel [you're] being attacked” is precisely why checking that urge; being less

self-absorbed & self-centered is key. If you think this is a switch that you — a humanist

— can just flip on or off, let me tell you how hard it is for the most devout Christians

or Muslims out there. At one branch church in America, an elderly Caucasian couple

took particular interest in me the same way great friendships I've chronicled of-

ten begin. The wife though was more interesting in that despite knowing I was

on the job market, had practically the same professional background as their

well-connected son, and expressed a strong interest in meeting him, she'd

come up to me before and after church, and, lovingly placing her arm on

mine, offer me unsolicited details of where (let's call him) “Mike” was

this week, which flight he's on right now and/or which FBI event or

assignment he's on next week/three weeks. Surreal. Meanwhile on

-line, a Romanian friend who liked talking to me on Skype, up to

12 hours plus, at a time—if I let her—would go on and on about

about her activities (business and personal) and travel here,

there & everywhere. When I tried injecting some realism,

or as I did once, attempted prepping her for a grown-up

conversation, using the classic Few Good Men scene,

our entire communication/friendship, wrongly built

reluctantly on tolerated superficiality most Black

folks wouldn't entertain, came tumbling down.

Not only did she confess she couldn't handle

the truth, she felt she was being attacked

by someone who had “problems”. Then

there was the time a routine Student

Loan call turned out to be a waste

of money and time because the

Caucasian woman on the line

believed she could relate,

having lived in luxury in

a country where many

reluctantly live so as

to stretch dollars.

Insular privilege

is not getting

such things+



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