Home > culture, liberty, life, writing > Rich Boy Poor, Poor Boy Rich

Rich Boy Poor, Poor Boy Rich

You might come from a family of down-to-earth working folks. You probably grew up in a comfortable home, a good car in the driveway, fresh clothes and lots of good food. You would probably be satisfied with this level of comfort while growing through your teens. Later, you could plan to rise higher than your parents have managed to get and actually become very wealthy.

You might come from a well-off family. A large, comfortable home on a spacious suburban lot with a new car for each licensed member of the family. There might have been a summer home on a clean, clear lake with a motorboat for each member of the family. You might have enjoyed a broad, shaded lawn and a small sailboat if ever you felt like sailing. The family might have had a membership in a large, luxurious, private country club. You might have indulged in trips to luxury seaside hotels in Miami Beach every winter, with separate rooms for each member of the family. That might be what your life is like.

It’s easy to imagine the poor boy aspiring to a life of wealth, influence and luxury. Not so logical would be the ambition of the rich boy aspiring to a life of rural simplicity and hands-on labour. I know two boys who were trusted friends to each other over many decades. They shared a love of many everyday things, a few special things, and mainly truth and trust that they relied upon in each other.

Through several business enterprises together, no documentation was ever required. They agreed on equal shares verbally, and that’s all that was ever required. Their mutual interest in auto racing kept them in almost constant contact, even as the poor boy grew increasingly wealthy and powerful. At the same time, the rich boy gradually disentangled himself from family obligations and commitments to make headway in his aspiration for a simpler, perhaps more sincere way of life.

In the end, the poor boy became tremendously wealthy, engaged in world travel and motor racing. The rich boy moved to a rustic cabin in a vast hardwood forest on the side of a mountain. There was no contact for four years while the formerly rich boy waited for some sort of telephone or internet connection. When the lines finally came through into the forest, the poor boy, now rich and the rich boy, now poor, returned to their daily conversations. Nothing had changed.

The formerly poor boy is aware that he is now experiencing all the things that the formerly rich boy had already experienced, including the auto racing. The strong links and shared memories over the span of decades is what hold them together. Each is comfortable and understanding of the others’ chosen way of life.

Each has found success. The now rich man heads several powerful corporations and the now poor man is enjoying life as a writer and illustrator. On it goes.

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