I don’t mean to sound prejudiced or divisive, but as it is common knowledge, there are pre-dominantly two classes of people: the haves and the have- nots. Simply put the rich and the poor. Again, those two classes can be further divided into two classes each: the humble rich, and the arrogant rich and the humble poor and the arrogant poor.
a) The humble rich.
These are the people who have so much wealth but don’t let their affluence get into their heads; they don’t belittle the poor because they understand it’s not their fault that they lack but because for there to be a balance in the universe, there has to be wealth and poverty and unfortunately they (poor) had to be the ones lacking. With this understanding, they treat the poor with so much respect and so much tenderness so that they don’t feel discriminated. They even go out of their way to share whatever they have with the less fortunate, as they feel that even though there should be that ‘balance’, they can still lessen that gap. They are naturally virtuous, in that when they give, they do it without expecting anything in return; they do it from the goodness of their hearts.
b) The arrogant rich.
As you may have guessed, these are the absolute contrast of the humble rich. They are conceited, vain… in short, this is where you find the epitomes of evil incarnate. In their opinion, they were cut out to swim in luxury, and the poor exist only at their mercy. This attitude makes them condescending towards the have- nots. They regard them with contempt; they respect them as much as they do roaches. They relish in debasing them. If you ask them, the poor haven’t been favoured by nature because they are slothful so no matter how hard they work, they will invariably remain in that class; like pariahs. Occasionally, they stretch a helping hand towards the poor, but not without an ulterior motive; those who they help are forever indebted to them and like the devil himself, they will ultimately come to collect.
c) The humble poor.
These are just the most noble of beings. They are diligent by nature because they know no one was born to suffer, so even though they lack, they are optimistic that one day God will bless them with wealth. In spite of the fact that they have very little to their name, they are so generous; they help those who are in a worse position than they. Their sorry state doesn’t harden their hearts. Whenever they are dealing with the haves, they only accord them the utmost respect because, like the humble rich, they also understand that everyone wasn’t meant to drive posh cars and live in luxurious mansions.
d) The arrogant poor.
These, like the rich arrogant, are spiteful in nature. They regard the rich with rancour and suspicion and are invariably bent on making their lives miserable; whenever the affluent visit their humble domains they will often hurl invectives at them because they ‘don’t belong there’ and should therefore ‘go back to their rich suburbs’. Naturally they find it hard to believe that a rich person can stand being in the presence of poor people. Moreover, they find it unbelievable that a person would want to help another without ulterior motives. They conceal the predicaments stemming from their impoverished state behind a façade of pride. They often seem bitter and this, in a way, explains why they loathe the rich. To boost their self-esteem they often try to focus on the inadequacies of the rich. For instance, they will offer their services/goods at exorbitant prices and when the unsuspecting rich buy from them, they will, in their defence, say that they’re foolish; they don’t know how to haggle, so that’s why they are easily scammed off. More often than not, fate works in their favour, and they find themselves high up in the social ladder. They graduate into the rich arrogant.
Sometimes it takes Mother Nature’s intervention to tame the rich arrogant; they go bankrupt, relocate to some shack in some unpopular neighbourhood. From that position the fog clouding their judgement clears and they see things like they are meant to be; that we are rich/poor because God wills it that way and things can change in the blink of an eye, depending on how we use what He- in His abundant mercy- has given us. However, in some complex situations, Mother Nature’s intervention doesn’t always work; once the rich arrogant recover from the temporary impoverishment they find their way back to the streets they are only too familiar with- unadulterated arrogance, treating everyone else like scum.
I’ve often wondered why someone who was once poor would treat those who are still poor with open disdain, now I know it’s because even before they acquired that wealth they were wicked. It’s imperative that one conducts a self- assessment to know where they lie. You may not be entirely rich or poor, but how do you behave, in relation to whatever you have, or wherever you lie in that proverbial social ladder?