I don’t know what’s up with me lately. I’ve been on this quest, so to speak, to prove that rich and poor people are not so different – as people that is. I myself am not wealthy, don’t drive a sports car, and have not been paid by some secret society of the über wealthy to promote a more wholesome image of them. I think part of it is related to my desire to win the lottery, and convincing myself that having wealth will not make me greedy or selfish. The other part of it is an altruistic, cosmic quest to prove that we are all the same, rich or poor, and should love rather than envy each other, help one another, blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc.
I took the data from our Values Profile and created two groups: People over 30 with a socioeconomic status of $75,000 and over, and people over 30 with a socioeconomic status of $25,000 or lower. I took the 31 values we assess on the test, and focused on the top ten for each group (#1 being the highest ranked/most important value).
Top ten values for $75,000 and over
3) Hard work
4) Family & Friends
7) Acceptance and Belonging
Top ten values for $25,000 and lower
3) Family & Friends
4) Hard work
6) Acceptance and Belonging
What do you notice? Here’s what I noticed:
- Aside from the fact that they are not in the exact same order, they are the exact same values.
- Money is not in the top ten for either group.
- Power is not in the top ten for either group.
- Recognition is not in the top ten for either group.
What does this mean? It means that there’s a strong desire to return to social values – to reconnect with other human beings. In fact, 5 of the top ten values are social values. It means rich people are not greedy, power-hungry, evil snobs (well, not all of them), and both groups recognize that “wealth” comes in many forms.
And in case you’re curious, here are the rest of the values and their rank (31 being the least important):
13) Financial Security
18) Scientific Exploration
19) Intellectual Creativity
20) Appreciation of Beauty
24) Artistic Creativity
25) Appreciation of Different Art Forms
Values 11 to 31 for $25,000 and less
13) Appreciation of Beauty
15) Intellectual Creativity
18) Financial Security
20) Appreciation of Different Art Forms
21) Artistic Creativity
24) Scientific Exploration
When I looked over the data one last time, I found myself humming the song Believe from Lenny Kravitz. I checked out the lyrics and understood why this song came to the forefront of conscious mind:
I am you and you are me
Why is that such a mystery?
If you want it you got to believe
Who are we? We’re who we are
Riding on the great big star
We’ve got to stand up if we’re gonna be free
If you want it, you got it
You just got to believe
Believe in yourself
‘Cause it’s all just a game
We just want to be loved…