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Notes from Virtual Life

Rich People and Their Sad Life Story

Rich people spend a lot of time talking about how awful their lives are. They’ll also usually lament that they must keep their privileged existence secret or risk being ostracized by society. If you’re new to this weird subculture and not yet initiated into its mysteries, you might be left wondering why rich people keep talking about how terrible their lives are all the time. The answer is pretty simple: because it gets them attention. Indeed, these eccentric individuals thrive on pity and validation, which is precisely why they continue to over-exploit the one detail that almost everyone knows about them: they have money.

The “poor little rich kid” trope is as old as aristocracy. Still, in today’s digital age, it has been given a new lease on life by millennials who seek constant validation for being able to afford avocado toast once in a while. There are many more layers to this subculture than what we can see from the outside, but if you ever find yourself entangled with a strange group of wealthy people who keep sharing an unappealing story about how poor they feel in public, here are some explanations for why this might be so.

Shady “Rich pranks” and other unlawful activities
Most rich people have a bit of a rebellious side, and the ones who are too impulsive to keep this side of their personalities hidden tend to get themselves into trouble. There’s no shortage of videos and news reports about rich kids throwing outrageous parties and even engaging in illegal activities like drug use, underage sex, gang activity and human trafficking. The rich are not immune to the temptations that all people are prone to, but they can often engage in these activities under the radar thanks to their wealth.

There’s a disturbing trend of wealthy people taking videos of themselves engaging in pranks that are often nothing short of criminal, and posting them online as a way to garner attention. The trend of posting swatting videos – where someone calls the police and claims they are holding a hostage inside the victim’s home – is particularly problematic. Members of this subculture also seem to get a thrill out of exposing sex workers and sexually harassing women.

They have no life outside of talking about how poor they feel
We’ve all heard that millennials are depressed because they can’t find jobs, can’t afford their own homes, and are too busy eating avocado toast to have kids. But for the rich, these problems don’t exist. It’s rare for rich people to experience things like crippling debt, poor mental health, and the rest of what plagues the poor. More often than not, rich kids start businesses at a young age, invest in the stock market, or even take advantage of their parents’ connections to become successful entrepreneurs.

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This means that many rich people have nothing to do with their time besides talking about how poor they feel. The rich are often lonely because they have no real friends, and since their parents are usually too busy for them anyway, they have very little to do. This is why rich people love to complain that they won’t be able to enjoy their unearned privilege forever – it’s a way of filling the void of boredom that their life has turned into.

The world is their stage and the Internet is their audience
Riches come with many downsides: People who are impulsive enough to run out and make money often find themselves in situations where they have to be in control all the time. This is often seen in the business world, where CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies are suddenly forced to make executive decisions that will affect thousands of people.

This can be a source of great stress and anxiety, which is why so many rich people end up falling into the trap of indulging in the attention-seeking lifestyle. The Internet is an excellent place for them to gather a following, and since they don’t have real jobs – or any other responsibilities – they have a lot of time on their hands to keep sharing sad stories about how poor they feel.

They want to feel something again.
The rich are privileged, and as a rule, they have an effortless life. This is great most of the time, but when people don’t have anything to worry about, they risk becoming apathetic and depressed. This is more common with inherited wealth, where a person’s lifestyle is often significantly more manageable than those who work.

Inherited wealth is also seen as something unfair and immoral by many people, and this can also cause a person to become overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and shame. When someone’s only reason to live is not offending their parents and managing to keep their secret and unearned lifestyle, they can get stuck in a loop of trying to feel something again, even if it’s just a little sadness and sadness regret.

The Sad Story of Jack Ma
Jack Ma, the founder of the Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, was an English teacher at one point in his life. While no one would ever wish for teaching to be a person’s sole means of income, it’s also a job that 99% of people in the world can do, regardless of their financial status. The fact that Ma worked one of the most menial, low-paying jobs imaginable is a detail that he has milked dry in more

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than one public appearance, to the point where it has become his calling card. In a 2018 commencement speech at Florida International University, Ma even went so far as to compare the experience of being an English teacher to the extreme suffering of being a parent. Ma’s story is a textbook example of the “poor little rich kid” complex, but it’s also something more: a case of severe narcissism.

The Sad Story of Bill Gates
Bill Gates’ “poor little rich kid” story is one most people have heard before: his childhood was plagued by mosquitoes, he didn’t have a proper toilet, and he was bullied for being a geek. While many people have struggled throughout their lives and deserve our compassion and respect, Gates’ story does not belong in this category.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with being a geek, growing up in a middle-class family in Seattle doesn’t make you a tragic hero in the same way Ma’s English teaching experience does. Yet Gates has made a career out of playing the “poor little rich kid” card, to the point where he’s even somewhat apologized for it.

In a 2011 interview, Gates said that he regretted making his childhood out to be so excruciating because it sent the message that rich people are “victims.” Yet Gates has never stopped telling this story.

The Sad Story of Steve Job
Steve Jobs’ sad story primarily revolves around the fact that he had to drop out of college and get a low-paying job at a call center after dropping out of college because he “had no money.” Jobs didn’t even have enough money to feed himself properly and had to subsist on a diet of “poison apples” from the local apple orchard.

It’s a story that becomes more and more tragic when you remember that his parents were millionaires at the time. As soon as Jobs turned 21, he became entitled to an $800,000 trust fund that would have been sufficient to pay for two years’ worth of tuition at Reed College. Yet Jobs never mentioned this in interviews and instead focused on how he had to go out and “find his passion” by getting a low-paying job at a call center.

The Sad Story of Elon Musk
Musk’s childhood is every rich person’s favorite story to tell when they want to elicit pity. Elon Musk’s sad tale revolves around the fact that his father was a tortured genius, he was bullied for being “nerdy,” and he might have Asperger’s syndrome. While it’s easy to pity a man who had to deal with these struggles as a child, it’s important to remember that Musk was born into a family of billionaires and is now a billionaire.

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Many people grew up in difficult circumstances and still went on to live happy everyday lives. Musk, on the other hand, has been milking his tragic childhood for attention ever since he co-founded Tesla, his electric car company. He recounts it in almost every interview, and his company’s mission statement is rooted in his childhood traumas.

Lesson to be Learned from Their Story
The common thread running through all of these sad stories is that they’re rooted in one thing: privilege. The fact that the people who tell these stories are rich and therefore have never known genuine financial hardship, makes them all the more tragic. These stories aren’t about people earning their success through hard work and perseverance; they’re about people being given everything they needed to succeed in life, yet still choosing to suffer.

These sad stories are a form of self-harm that rich people engage in to get attention and sympathy at other people’s expense. If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is telling one of these sad stories, you mustn’t buy into it.

Do you have Sad Story to Invest in the Future?
If you want to feel like a tragic hero who’s constantly struggling to overcome impossible odds, the best thing you can do is become a billionaire. Having a lot of money completely changes the narrative of your life story and is the surest way to be viewed as a “poor little rich kid” in public.
If you want people to feel sorry for you, you don’t have to keep coming up with new ways to talk about how sad your life is. It would probably be more beneficial for you to stop talking about your life entirely. If you want to feel like a tragic hero who’s constantly struggling to overcome impossible odds, the best thing you can do is become a billionaire.

If you ever find yourself engrossed in the sad stories of wealthy people who keep talking about the money they don’t have, try not to laugh too much. Remember, these people have everything in the world, yet they go out of their way to find ways to feel bad about themselves.
This is a strange phenomenon, and we can only speculate why rich people keep sharing their sad stories in public. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on, especially if you’re a millennial just starting to make some money. If you’re not careful, you might become one of them…

Kamaruzzaman Bustamam Ahmad

Kamaruzzaman Bustamam-Ahmad (KBA) has followed his curiosity throughout life, which has carried him into the fields of Sociology of Anthropology of Religion in Southeast Asia, Islamic Studies, Sufism, Cosmology, and Security, Geostrategy, Terrorism, and Geopolitics. KBA is the author of over 30 books and 50 academic and professional journal articles and book chapters. His academic training is in social anthropology at La Trobe University, Islamic Political Science at the University of Malaya, and Islamic Legal Studies at UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. He received many fellowships: Asian Public Intellectual (The Nippon Foundation), IVLP (American Government), Young Muslim Intellectual (Japan Foundation), and Islamic Studies from Within (Rockefeller Foundation). He is based in Banda Aceh and can be reached at ceninnets@yahoo.com.au

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