I’ll Never Understand The ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’ Mentality

David Hookstead | Contributor

I have officially come to terms with the fact I will never understand the mindset of “Keeping up with the Joneses.”

I used to think I had a pretty good concept of why people do things, especially people my own age. I foolishly thought I understood the average person’s actions, but I’ve come to understand that’s not really the case.

My epiphany came among a recent debate I was having about whether you’d rather buy a firearm or a single clothing/accessory item if you were given $1,000. I threw the question out to Twitter, and the results came back heavily in favor of the firearm, which is what I expected.

However, I was quickly told by several DC people that I was foolish for believing firearms are more important and useful than clothes and purses.

First off, I don’t ever judge people for the way they spend their money, but I do have a problem when people start making insane arguments to justify it.

It was made clear to me that some people love spending on flashy items so that they can impress other people. This obviously isn’t isolated to the gentler and kinder gender among us. Men do the same thing with cars and other items.

However, I don’t understand the idea of buying things intent on impressing other people. Maybe I’m just too much of a simpleton.

I buy things because I want them, not because I want to impress other people. I just assumed this was the natural way. I buy new weapons because I want them and they serve a purpose.

Do I have access to enough firearms to arm enough men to overthrow Saddam Hussein circa-2003? Maybe, I’m not really supposed to talk about it, but every weapon I ever came into possession of was because it served a purpose. The weapon was acquired to hunt, target shoot, or provide for self-defense. I’ve never once bought a gun in hopes it would impress somebody.

I spend money for things I expect to get a return on an investment on. You know what you can do with a firearm when somebody breaks into your house? You can end the threat with 124-grain hollow point 9mm. You can also hunt, and kill delicious meat to eat. You know what you can’t do with all that flashy clothing you recently bought? Win a gunfight. I know that’s a shocking point, but it’s true.

A quick Google check about me will have some accusing me of white privilege and coming from an isolated area where I could never understand the importance of maintaining appearance.

This assumption might be true. I have no idea. What I do know is that it must be a sad life to live if your decisions, especially financial decisions, are based off of the opinions of others. I believe in living your best life.

Don’t go to the gun store and get the rifle you think people will be impressed by. Get the rifle you have the best shot at bagging that massive buck at 500 yards with. Don’t worry about the rest.

I’ve seen enough people go down the wrong path of vanity and greed to know it’s not a winning strategy. I know plenty of people that chased money with disregard to everything else. They have massive bank accounts, but they’re morally bankrupt.

I’ve seen some get into mid-level jobs, make six-figures, have no real influence, have no real friends and yet they think they’ve made it. In reality they’ve hit a ceiling, and are generally, incredibly unimpressive people. It’s not worth living life to impress people you don’t care about.

Don’t confuse what I’m saying with the idea I hate money. I love money, maybe even more than anybody I know, but I love money because it provides me the freedom to do the things I enjoy. I’ve also seen people living in mansions on rolling acres of land with happy families. They chased a passion and the money followed.

It’s night and day between the two different mentalities. The latter is without a doubt the winner.

You don’t like the house I live in? Couldn’t care less. You’re not impressed with my arsenal of weapons? Good for you. You don’t like what my family and blood has done throughout history? I’ll listen to your opinion once you prove you can do it better.

Simply said, I think you’re a moron if you buy things and spend money to impress other individuals. Spend your money on the stuff you enjoy instead of trying to impress those who have no influence.

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David Hookstead

Contributor

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