Why I hate the world (but not really)

October 12, 2009
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Anthony L.
It only took a short dinner two years ago for me to become a misanthrope. My father is the kind of person to arbitrarily ask philosophical, thought-provoking questions on a whim, especially at dinnertime. So that dinner he casually asked me, “What is the purpose of money?” Being tired and lackadaisical that night, I answered, “To buy stuff, of course.” After an unenthused “no’ and a short reproach, he repeated the question. Taking a sarcastic approach I decided to answer with as full of a response as possible to satisfy him. I replied, “Why, money is the universal denomination of power, a representation of how much strength a person has in the world. With money you can sway nearly anybody, even the gods.” Of course my father had no idea what I was going on about but suddenly, hundreds of thoughts and ideas darted around my mind and after several tangents I came to a simple conclusion. The world is completely broken.
It really bothers me that wealth is being abused in the world. My parents grew up in evolving third world countries, my father in Vietnam and my mother in Cambodia. The poverty and communism they faced had a tremendous effect on how they lived and how they raised me. They told me stories of how the government took money from the rich to distribute poverty equally among the citizenry. My father’s family lost their properties to Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Kong and my mother lost her friends in the Killing Fields orchestrated by the Khmer Rouge.
The concept of corrupting greed perplexed me when I was a child. Whenever we went out to buy groceries, I would always pester my mother to buy me a new toy that the rest of kids had, and when she rejected my pleas I tried convincing her that I would be content with a small trinket from the selection of bauble strewn throughout the store. I didn’t truly understand the value of money until they suggested I help them work. I remember vividly that I spent the first $7 I saved up through intensive labor (read: household chores) on a pack of Pokemon cards, the epitome of coolness on the 5th grade playground. However when I would show up to school without brand name clothing, my classmates would mock me for being poor. I asked my parents if we were poor and they responded with a firm “no” followed by words I never forgot, “If you work hard, you will never be poor.”
It is my parents’ experiences that allow them to instill humility, determination, and passion in me with such conviction.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

vampluv11 said...
Dec. 23, 2009 at 7:38 am
interesting... i hope it served you well! i actually enjoyed the last sentance- it wraps up well, while being short, not-so-sweet, and to the point.
sarahmarie said...
Oct. 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm
very interesting and well written.
I think what's missing though is more on the last sentence. Rather than simply saying that is what they instilled in you, you could show them with specific examples that show those characteristics. We're going over app essays in class right now and that's what my teacher has been telling us. Hope this helps! and good luck!
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