Two 15 year old girls sitting at one table. Binah is from Africa and Lucy from America. They meet each other the very first time and have a conversation.
Binah: You have such a good life. You can go to school and learn. And after school you can work, you can earn your own money.
Lucy: Yes, but we have to get up early in the morning. And believe me, school isn’t a walk in the park. You have to learn a lot, people expect too much knowledge these days.
Binah: But it’s great to know so many things.
Lucy: When you need it in your life, sure it’s a good thing. But most things we learn at school is not useful. I mean why do I have to know what happened hundreds of years ago?
Binah: You know something about your ancestors, what they did is part of why your country is what it is, acts like it does in some situations, and have its laws to protect its people. I’d be happy if I would have the chance to know something about my past, that of my family or country. Why haven’t we developed like you Americans? Why are we still so poor?
Lucy: We aren’t rich either. I mean, when I switch on the TV I see these glamorous high school girls, wearing Gucci or Prada or whatever. I can’t afford these things. And I guess I won’t get a car for my 16th birthday.
Binah: Why do you need a car, or these Gucci or Prada, whatever this is? You have food. You can go and buy something to eat and drink, as much and whenever you like. And you have a safe home, you have your own bed.
Lucy: Yes, but that’s normal. Rich are people who live in villas, having a pool, a big park, lots of cars. What you see when you watch TV. Everyone wants to go to Hollywood and have that beautiful life.
Binah: I’ve never heard of Hollywood. And I don’t even have a TV.
Lucy: So you sit on your computer? Or chat with your friends using your smartphone?
Binah: My what? I have none of these things. I wish I’d have a computer to chat with people all over the world, but I can’t.
Lucy: Seriously? But what do you do the whole day?
Binah: I take care of my younger brothers and sisters, I help my mom to clean the house, to cook. I help farming fruits and vegetables. I am working the whole day. I can only eat what we harvest. We try to sell some of them, but it’s not very much.
I’ll stop here and let you think about how the conversation could go on. What do you think, when is a person rich? What makes a person rich? I think we mostly don’t recognize what we have because we think it’s normal. I don’t think that we have to go to Africa to meet someone who have less than we have. When I first watched the sitcom ‘2 Broke Girls’ it lets me realize how fast we can be broke. In one city, like New York, do not only live people like Carrie Bradshaw. There are also people like Max Black. When she was the first time in Caroline’s former room, even the bath tub was something special, not to mention the turning shoe cabinet. But for Caroline it wasn’t special at all, as she grew up with things like that.
So when is a person actually rich? Does it only depend on money, or can a person with lots of good friends also be rich? I guess sometimes we should more appreciate the things we have instead of complaining about others who have more. No matter if they have more money or more friends. Things could be worse.