I am poor.
I have friends who started out at pretty much where I started, perhaps from a worse start, and they are far wealthier than I am.
It is painful to be in this situation. Perhaps if they'd "made it" - by rolling around in millions and millions - I'd be more philosophical. Such spectacular success is usually down to luck.
There was no luck in their stories. Not great luck anyway, just the usual run-of-the-mill lucky-to-be-alive luck! My friends are not "rolling in it"; they are self-made comfortable people. They may have passed the million mark, or they may have not (they won't tell, and it depends on the currency), the important thing is: they don't need to work anymore.
My sample of comfortable friends _chose_ to go after money from a young age. Within a year or two of their graduation, they'd angled for the high-paying jobs in the wealthy sectors, and in due course, with careful monitoring of their expenditures and savvy decision-making, they reaped the gradual rewards.
I was seen as someone with possibly more potential than them. Perhaps each had excellences that I could not match, but they certainly expected I was going to be very successful.
Unlike them, I chose a zero-paying initial career path. Afterwards, I chose to be a low-paid academic.
I did so because of my upbringing. Both my parents prized education and saw that its value was in civilising mankind, not in money-making. So, when one of my friends went after a well-paid job only for its money, I scorned his behaviour. And my father attacked me for not scorning him enough!
As it dawned on me that I was not getting the career I'd expected, rather than change it, I dug my heels in even more. It's paradoxical; it doesn't make sense except in my head.
But it hurts now. I sit with my peers and they're talking about their villas, their cars, "100 dollars - you know - nothing," and then they stop themselves.