Today, sees the publication of the annual Sunday Times Rich List. As its name suggests, it is a league table of the richest people in the UK.
According to news reports, it seems those listed this year, have seen their fortunes decline over the past 12 months. Those fortunes have suffered heavily through falling property valuations, a decline in retail spending and all the other effects of an economic downturn
What surprises me, however, is that we still care about who is the richest in the list, how they are coping, or the value of their present wealth; they are still super rich by anyone’s standards.
When a rise in the cost of a litre of fuel can mean real hardship for us ‘ordinary’ folk and rising prices in supermarkets account for a huge percentage of the average wage, the super rich can absorb these conditions without even noticing. They have more than enough to be able to live on, despite the falls in the paper valuations of their wealth.
So, what is the reason we absorb such information about people who are so far removed from the reality of life they may as well be from another planet? Do we aspire to be like them? Is it a case of envy or simply jealousy?
I wish I knew the answer, but I fear it has become part of our human nature to look at wealth as a yardstick by which we are all judged. If you are rich, you have a value in life but if you just get by, you have very little value in our society.
Is it now time we started to re-evaluate our ‘values’ and judge a person’s worth as being a value in the person and not in what they have?
Perhaps, if we had not allowed ourselves to become brainwashed by the media into buying ‘envy’ magazines and following the lives of pampered rich celebrities, we would not have overstretched ourselves by trying to keep up with something we should not really want.
Sadly, though, that has become the basis of our human nature!!