Over time, I have been able to better understand people, and why they act the way they do. I did not grow up with people who were vastly different – some might have been slightly wealthier than others, but ultimately we were exactly the same. We went to a fancy school and took expensive vacations, and basically everyone I knew was very generic. Living in this bubble for almost 11 years gave me the impression that everyone in the world were exactly like the people I grew up with. Wow, was I in for a reality check.
This is partially why I am so grateful to have gone to Switzerland and met all these people from different cultures – they gave me the reality check that I needed. Here is the thing though: there were a series of events in my life before I left for Switzerland that made me realize how wrong our stereotypes in society are. The main one being that wealthier people are classier and better people. We have this idea drilled into us by movies, books, and TV which emphasize the cross sections in society. Wealthier people are not necessarily better or worse people. People who are less wealthy are not necessarily better or worse people either.
It’s a fact that money changes people. They stop caring about others who are not on their “level”, and they don’t care about what happens to you, even if they are at fault. Having said that, some of them really do care and put their money to good use. Some people might not have a multi-million dollar mansion, but they are honest and simple. What you have is not important to them, it is the person you are that is. On the other hand, some people who are less wealthy have a chip on their shoulder, and feel threatened by others who have more. They then make themselves feel better by being mean to people who do have more, but never brag about it. Just because someone puts a smile on their face and is nice to you does not mean they are sincere. People’s true colours always show when the going gets rough.
What I’m getting at is that there are all sorts of people in the world. The arrogant ones, the simple ones, the insecure ones, and millions more. We cling to stereotypes to a certain degree because it makes life simpler to deal with – you know who you have something in common with, and who you should avoid. Take a chance! Try getting to know someone who is different from your friends or people in your school. Yes it can be stressful to encounter people who are not nice to you, but this is what makes life exciting! Can you imagine how boring life would be if it was predictable?