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The 5 People You Meet At The Resort Pool

 

Have you ever walked around a theme park and recognized somebody from earlier in the day?  Like maybe you were headed to dinner on an old-tyme steamboat and accidentally locked eyes with a person that had been 27 people ahead of you in line for a rocket-ship, before lunch?

Isn’t it a strange feeling to recognize and find familiarity with someone you don’t really know?  Recently I came to understand this feeling in a unique and interesting, if not completely insignificant, way.

Having spent some time vacationing, I can assure you that there are 5 people who you will meet at any resort swimming pool.  Not only do you recognize these 5 people immediately, but you can probably guess what they’re up to without even speaking to them.

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A Bankrupt Idea

If you’ve spent even 5 minutes on Facebook you’ve seen an ad for “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, a book written by financial Guru Robert Kiyosaki.  In the book Kiyosaki claims to dish on all the secrets Rich Dads tell their kids that Poor Dads don’t.

The premise is that Rich Dads educate their kids about how money is made and multiplied, and that Poor Dads don’t.  If a person were to take the advice of a Rich Dad, then they would have the information needed to have a life that is more financially successful, and a financially successful life is more rewarding and pleasurable than a poor one.

Critics of Kiyosaki’s books and public speaking sessions assert that “Rich Dad advice” sounds a lot like marketing ploys, real estate schemes, and insider trading.

Kiyosaki’s claims are very similar to the classic enlightenment assertion that inside information and secret knowledge will carry you to success; in short, “Education is everything.”

While I won’t throw a wet blanket on a quality education in the three R’s, I do believe that espousing education as a remedy for our social and moral ills is an oversimplification of the human condition.

We aren’t just ignorant… we are also selfish and lazy.

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Heavyweight Criticism

Every one of us is prejudiced.

We form opinions about people, places, and things based upon prior experience, lack of experience, and information provided for us by others.  In turn these prejudices inform our preferences and speculations.

My childhood was spent in the northernmost tip of rural Los Angeles County. The people who lived there were mostly African-American, Latino, and Caucasian. What we didn’t share genetically, we made up for in poverty.

People of different colors weren’t considered strange, people with money were.

Acting like a high roller was actually a bigger faux pas than committing a crime.

We were getting along just fine…

…until the “Orientals” started showing up.

Nobody knew whether “those people” were Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bengali, or Indian.  Nobody really cared if they were Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Nung or Hmong.  Most everybody “liked it better when you could understand what people were saying” because “this is America after all.”

The prejudices revealed by the arrival of our new community members didn’t actually have much to do with race or religion… or the fact that they were upwardly mobile.  They had to do with a shared belief that people must conform to our standards to be accepted by us.

This wasn’t only true in my high-desert hometown was it?

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