What’s your Net Worth?
Do people that you meet value you or your net worth?
I’ve seen it happen here – both to me and to others – in this city and elsewhere, where more value seems to be placed on one’s net worth. At best, this attitude is cringe-worthy.
Then, a friend told me about what happens in another city in India (a city somewhere in the north, where a lot of high-level government buildings are located, if you get my drift). He said that if he ever moved back there, he would have to buy himself a BMW or he would not fit into his friends’ circle. (He happens to live in Mumbai, and he said people don’t care as much here). But over there, if he was say, driving in a Toyota Camry (not a bad car, if I may say so!), his friends, would ask, what happened, yaar?
As I looked on in amazement, I said to him, you must move around with a bunch of rich and famous people. He said, Nah – most of them will be trying to figure out how to get cash for next month’s loan payment!
It’s all about the image. Because that’s how you connect there and that’s how you network and find business contacts. Wow! A car as a visible symbol to help you network and do business, that’s how it works?
Unfortunately, this is more fact than fiction and more (regrettable) truth than not, and it’s only one example. People are more than likely to succumb to the pressure of their peers here because fitting in into the society they move in is considered very important. And then they get valued for the car they own! Really sad.
The good news is that the attitude is not yet ubiquitous (god help us!) and that it’s more prevelant in some cities and some societies than others. I hope that this trend, instead of catching on and spreading, diminishes with time and economic progress! If not, we’d really have something to worry about regarding the state of society and values in India.