Yesterday I was talking to some friends about two people from impoverished backgrounds who we all really like ALOT. What we like about them is how innocent they are, how sincere, how not jaded.
We agreed they are ridiculously refreshing, a complete breath of fresh air. You find yourself trusting them without hardly even knowing them.
They haven’t lived in the same middle class world we have, they haven’t worked in the same corporate universe we swim in every day.
One of my friends asked, “ I wonder what it is that makes them different?”
On my morning run I was thinking about it, what IS it that makes them different?
I realized that when they say something, it comes straight from the heart. When they smile, it’s a genuine smile that comes straight away, not preceded by any thinking.
It’s never manufactured.
In the world where I was raised and live in, we were taught to manufacture smiles: for cameras, for guests, for bosses, even for people we didn’t like or didn’t feel like smiling about. “Wear this, say this, don’t say that, agree.”
We were taught to manufacture how we look, how we act in order to create an impression.
So now grown up we manufacture responses, words, emotions, answers to questions. You see this all the way up into job interviews where people spend endless hours working on how to manufacture the right impression.
We manufacture so much, it’s easy to come out looking mass produced.
These people we were talking about had the good fortune of living in a society which did not have wealth, but was rich in genuine expression. They grew up uncorrupted, pure, themselves.
Today looking at it, it makes me wonder which wealth is the greater.
When’s the last time anyone called us “a breath of fresh air”?
That to me seems the greater wealth.