I was born poor.
I went through many phases of my life where I suffered poverty & yes even being homeless & penniless. However, I advice everyone I know — you should always keep friends who are rich and not poor.
Now why do I recommend this? Why this double standard? Why am I recommending & advising people to only to keep in touch with the rich and not the poor when I myself was poor once upon a time?
Are the poor people not human?
Are the poor people not good enough?
Are the poor people dirty, evil or of lesser value?
In fact, whenever I give people this advice — almost immediately I get asked, “So since you were once poor, we shouldn’t have kept in touch with you, talked to you or even helped you out. Isn’t it?”
Well, guess what?
If I was poor, a nothing and nobody, someone useless and of no benefit to you — you wouldn’t have.
How do I know this?
When I was penniless and dying on the streets of life — No one did keep in touch with me. So please — stop giving me ‘self-righteous’ sermon.
Now, lets assume you do state the following:
“Loy, I am a person of character. Even if you had no money, you were nothing and nobody, I would always be in touch with you.”
Let me give you the benefit of the doubt that YES — you would keep in touch with me. Now even if you did keep in touch with me — would it be of any use to me?
Think about it…
I am dying.
I am penniless of the streets of life.
I am a nothing and nobody.
And obviously — I need help.
So would you have say…given me $10,000?
Forget that….would you have given me at least $100?
Because you have your own priorities, you have your own cross to carry, you have your own responsibilities and challenges — isn’t it?
So just because you would keep in touch with me — wouldn’t mean — as they very rudely say — “jack shit” to me. It would be as pointless as having a facebook friend on facebook.
He is neither a friend nor he is real.
He is just a virtual identity.
I mean seriously — what is the point of having a friend who just gives you sweet words, nice facebook messages or positive quotes?
Does it help?
When I am hungry — I need food
When I am thirsty — I need water
When I am penniless — I need money to sustain or things to help me survive.
Sending me facebook messages, whatsapp quotes, kind words, jpeg images does nothing for me. And yeah — even worse is adding insult to injury with statements like “I’ll pray for you” or “Sending prayers you way” does NOTHING to me or my life.
You know something — when I was penniless and suffering on the streets of India and when people send me “Sending prayers your way” — I kept quiet and made a note of who they were. And when my life, my situation and my finances improved — and when these very same people came knocking on my door asking for favors because now either they lost their job or they were doing through financial problems — I sent them the very same message, text & email back “Sending Prayers Your Way”.
I felt so nice to return the favor — giving them a taste of their own-self-righteous medicine “sending prayers your way”.
I seriously wonder how much did it help him when he was really in the time of his need?
So now coming to my theory about keeping friends only who are rich….why do I preach this principle?
Here are my top 3 reasons:
- CONTAGIOUS & PERMANENT PATTERNS
People who are rich became rich because they have a particular mind-set, approach, lifestyle & habits. They utilize their time, resources, energy, and thoughts in a certain manner.
While people who are poor are poor because they have used their time, resources and mind in a certain manner. They have certain habits and behavior patterns. And they will continue repeating them.
So which pattern, lifestyle & habits would you like to emulate and hope rubs on to you?
- GIVE & GIVE?
People who are poor or poorer than you will always want something from you. Its not to say that the rich don’t. But would you rather have someone who has a better chance of returning a favor back to you than someone who doesn’t? And for those of you who believe ‘giving is better than receiving’ — try doing this — start donating your money, your time, your time to helping the poor. See how long does that last.
I can assure you the poor around you are like a like a bottomless well. No matter how much water you pour into this well, it is never going to be enough. They will always ask for more and more and more and more — until you run completely out of resources. And after you do run out of resources — they will quietly move on to their next donor, leaving you in the dirt.
- THE POWER OF HABITS
Being productive is a habit. Being a time waster is a habit.
Being smart & doing the right thing is a habit. Being stupid & dumb in a habit.
Living unhealthy is a habit. Staying fit & healthy is a habit.
In the same way being rich is a habit and being poor is a habit.
So if you as a parent wouldn’t want your children hanging around with people who smoke, drink alcohol and do drugs because they will (not may) pick up those habits — what is the justification to give for making poverty a welcome habit?
Here’s a disclaimer.
I do not hate the poor. Nor do I keep friends who are rich.
So what kinds of friends do I keep?
I keep friends whom I can offer value to and those who can offer me value.
Those are the people I keep in my life.
Because I have bills to pay.
I have responsibilities.
I have dreams.
I have lots of things to learn.
I have tons of things to do.
And keeping friends is a luxury I intend to take very seriously because it will impact my personality, my thinking, my behaviors, my time and my effort. And I do not take that very lightly.
Let me make one thing clear.
If you are the richest man in the world or the most generous — I am not one of those who is going to wag his tail, dance to your tunes and show you how much I love you just to win your favors.
That is not me and that is not who I am.
I seriously give two-flying-fucks about such individuals who are rich. In fact, even right now there are plenty of ‘rich folks’ who want me to come to their parties, come to visit them, get to meet them & their friends — I don’t do such things. Neither am I interested in knowing them.
I have 5 Criteria if I want to make friends with anyone.
- Do we like each other?
- Are we compatible?
- Can I add value to your life through my professional service
- Can you add value to my life through monetary or non-monetary means
- Do we have a very clear, transparent & straight-forward agenda?
And if I can check mark all the 5 — then yes, then we should and must keep in touch. However, in order to qualify for this — I suppose you must have money to spend — shouldn’t you?
On a given day, I receive at least 3 to 7 request EVERY SINGLE DAY asking me for the following:
- my advice for FREE
- my services for FREE
- my guidance for FREE
- Job position or employment for FREE
- money which they will pay me within XYZ number of days (in other words for FREE)
Now all these people asking me all these favors — well, I do not know who they are, I have never met them and yes — before the email I never heard of them. And after rejecting them, I would never hear from them again.
I am pretty sure you are tempted to tell me — WHAT IF I did help them?
Well guess what — I have! Over the last few years over $200,000 was given to various people — NONE of which has to be returned back to me. And these are good friends, genuine people and worthwhile human beings whom I personally knew. These kind souls took the money and then……‘abracadabra’ vanished. They were very nice people — until of course it came time to ask them to pay me what they owed me.
When that happened, they vanished under ‘mysterious’ circumstances.
So now coming to the bottomline — should you keep rich friends or poor friends?
Given that we look at a person’s character — I would any day opt for a good ‘rich’ friend than a good ‘poor’ friend. Because a good ‘rich’ friend wouldn’t ask me for favors while a good ‘poor’ friend will at some point be tempted to asked me for a favor. And after building years and years of a relationship — when I need help — whom do you think I can turn to — the good rich friend or the good poor friend?
The good rich friend of course.
So then why bother investing all the time, effort and money on someone who you are not going to get anything worthwhile in return?
What are you looking for?
- Feel good moment?
- Good memories?
- Exchange of great ideas?
I don’t know about you mate, but I have bills to pay, mouths to feed, responsibilities to take care of and dreams to achieve. I am not the citizen of some western well-to-do-country that gives me $1,000 monthly unemployment benefits, a free housing and guaranteed job or job assistance. Neither do I have a rich daddy and tons of money lying down in the bank.
So given this state-of-affairs — what do you think you would do if you were in my place?
Once again — which friend would you choose?
Good rich one?
Good poor one?