A few years ago, I was your typical office-worker: stressed out, uneven energy, overweight, and inconsistent complexion. Now I'm just your typical 28-year old urban hunter-gatherer on a quest to be healthy, and having a few adventures along the way. See my full bio.
Empathy for misers
I like to find moments in life that allow me to see things from a new perspective. And during my two weeks as a smoker, one of the things that I noticed is how many people wanted to bum a cigarette from me. This was a reversal for me, since in the past, I've usually been the one to bum a cigarette. And the mentalities are totally different.
Now flip the script. Cigarettes in NYC cost something just shy of $15, probably the highest in the country. So one cigarette costs about 75 cents. Now, that's not a lot of money on its own, but it adds up if you're a regular smoker. And damn, it sure gets annoying when all kinds of random strangers on the street feel entitled to one of my cigarettes. If it just happened a few times, it's no big deal. The problem is -- it's not just a few times. It never stops. And eventually, you have to throw up some defenses and start telling people 'no'.
And so I'm pretty sure that's what it's like being wealthy. People always want stuff from you: gifts, donations, taxes, investments, whatever. I could see how it gets a little annoying with each new ask, even if the ask isn't for very much money -- in fact, especially if the ask isn't for very much money. Because the person asking you expects you to give it and views you as stingy if you don't.