Why do we treat one another differently based on the amount of money we make? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

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Why do we treat one another differently based on the amount of money we make?

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Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:01 am

Dear Mikey,

Last weekend I was at a friend’s house for dinner. I met this friend at college, but after this weekend I do not want to be her friend anymore as a result of her behavior. It was her, her husband, myself, my husband, and two other friends that we also went to college with. Everyone post-college has been very successful except for one of our friends. I will call this friend “Mary.” Mary has had a very rough time after college in terms of finding a job, etc. She is standing on her own two feet but is struggling, unlike the rest of us. I admire her because she works a few part-time jobs to stand on her own two feet without any assistance from the government or her parents. It shows that she is struggling as she is unable to buy the newer style of clothes, she drives an old car, and she lives in a not-so-safe neighborhood. All in all she is trying, she is doing it 100 percent on her own, and I respect the heck out of her for that.

My friend whose house we were at (I will call her Megan), has changed into an entirely different person post college. She on the other hand became a lawyer, married her high school sweetheart, lives in a big house in a very safe neighborhood, she and her husband drive new cars, and she makes plenty of money. Once she made it “big” she started acting differently towards us “old friends,” but not in a good way. She especially changed towards “Mary.”

At dinner, Mary brought a bottle of wine to dinner, which was very generous, and Megan had the audacity to point out that it was a cheap bottle of wine. When we all sat down, Megan made

Mary get up and sit at the end of the table in a solo seat away from all of the couples. When it was time to have dessert, Megan told Mary to grab the desserts out of the fridge so she can visit with “her friends.”

This sickened me and after Mary left I confronted Megan about it. She said the reasoning behind why she treats Mary the way that she does is because she is of “lower class” than the rest of us. I couldn’t believe how she handled that whole situation, so I stormed off and left.

Mikey, why do people think they are above others just because of their yearly income? When did we start treating one another like this?

— Sickened in Tukee

Dear Sickened in Tukee,

I am disappointed to know that your friend “Megan” lives in Ahwatukee, as this is not the way to treat one another. The fact that you even confronted “Megan” about her behavior and she still didn’t recognize what’s wrong with it is very concerning.

As we go through life, different stages may change us (should be maturity and responsibility wise, but in a good and positive way), however, we should never ever lose sight of who we truly are or where we have come from, or the people who helped us get to where we are today.

Your friend “Megan” wasn’t always a lawyer that made a lot of money and it sounds like she forgot that a long time ago. It sounds like she also forgot about her “friends” by the sound of how she treats “Mary.”

If anything, she should have even more respect for “Mary” for the fact that she is working hard and doing everything on her own. Treating her the way that she does is not being a friend at all.

Money is just a materialistic item that we need in order to purchase necessities in life such as food, water, shelter, and clothing. Different households make all different amounts and it makes each household just as equal as any other household out there.

We are all equal in the sense that we are trying to earn the same thing in life — a living to properly take care of our families and to make sure our children have a healthy life leading up to their adulthood.

Instead of having social and monetary statuses why don’t we encourage one another to better ourselves by donating more money if we make a higher amount or raising money for more charities? Instead of having a silent competition to compare oneself with one’s neighbor, why don’t we all try to help each other even out or to better our individual situations?

Life is short and we are all here for a reason. Why not concentrate more on the reason than who has a better car or bigger house? It is not like we can take any of these materialistic items with us one day any ways.

No one should be treated any better or worse because of the amount of money they make. Shame on your friend for thinking she is that much above everyone else to treat her own friend in such a hurtful way.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at writtenbymikey@gmail.com.

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