A millionaire whose friends are all billionaires will feel broke.

‪I was pretty close to my father’s driver as a kid, and we talked a lot.‬

‪He would often tell me stories of people I didn’t know who he called “big men.” He’d talk about the cars they drove, and how they bought everyone drinks, and how they lived in nice houses.‬

‪Then I grew up…‬

‪And I was a medical doctor, driving out from work one weekend. As I approached the hospital gate, the security guys asked their usual, “Anything for us, sir?”‬

‪I grinned. “Ah, me sef just dey manage o!”‬

‪They replied, “Ah, you na oga o!”‬

‪And that’s when it hit me.‬

‪In their eyes, I was the big man of the stories of my father’s driver.‬

‪All those men he used to tell me about—I was them. I didn’t feel wealthy, but that’s how they saw me.

‪It’s surprising how we’re far more keenly aware of the wealth of others. ‬

‪It reminded me of my first job out of med school. I worked on the Island, stayed with my uncle. ‬

‪I remember feeling like every fifth car was a brand new Toyota Camry, & wondering when I’d be able to afford one. I felt so broke then.‬

‪Until the weekend I got back from my parents’.

‪My parents lived on the Mainland, and the weekend itself was normal. Nothing special. It was when I got back I caught it. ‬

‪I hadn’t seen a single new Camry. Or any other new car for that matter.‬

‪Oh—and I also hadn’t felt broke once the entire weekend…‬

‪That was the first time I’d learned that lesson:‬

‪“Wealth” is something “others” have.‬

‪But maybe it’s worth stepping back from ourselves from time to time, and considering how wealthier we are than we feel.‬

There’s a reason the Bible says envy is at the root of all labour.

“Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Published by Doc Ayomide

I’m a medical doctor with specialty training in psychiatry, and I love thinking and writing about what it means to be human.

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4 Comments

  1. I had to come over and read the full article after getting d drift from one of your broadcast emails. Its interesting. It ended too soon though.

  2. I agree with you babafemi… Really ended quite abruptly. I have a feel there’s still more doc. Ayomide wants to make known ?

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