There's no reason to be smug

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Canadian Dream
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Post by Canadian Dream »

I really do get the idea of this thread. Just because we tend to save more doesn't make us superior to the masses. Also I get Jacob's point about smugness being a two person event.
The primary issue is both sets of people are a mystery to the other set. We can't understand each other lifestyles in the context of our own choices. The idea of spending $100K in a year to me is alien, but a lot of people manage to do it. Also they can't understand me only living off of $27K a year for a family of four.I try to recall there isn't any right way to live. We can't understand each other because we have all had different lives. Our choice and experiences have defined our current path.
Beside I do have to admit I do like looking at what some people choose to spend their money on. It's like visiting a museum I look at those expensive houses and agree it looks nice, but I can't understand the idea of having rooms for a specific event like watching a movie or hosting a party of 100 people. To me it just makes more sense to plan for the day to day and rent what you need to the odd life events. Besides if most of the world shifts to ERE thinking perhaps we can setup a zoo somewhere and send our kids to visit people that continue to spend everything they make. (I'm not trying to be smug, but rather point our someone would be bound to do it regardless of how tacky it is).


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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny »

"I try to recall there isn't any right way to live."
It's noble to say everyone can live however they want, and we should respect each other's choices. I agree to a point. Some people spend their money on travel, some on children, some on hobbies--that's ok.
I don't think mindless consumerism is ok. I'm prepared to make a judgement and say it's wrong. I don't feel compelled to respect that way of life for several reasons:

It's eating up the planet's resources.

It's turning the planet into a giant landfill.

It focuses people on things instead of people.

It reinforces judging people by their possessions instead of their character.

Spending most of our time consuming instead of producing limits our accomplishments as humans.
Anyway, you get the idea. When the excessive consumption of others damages the planet I live on, I can't respect their choices. I'm not sure that makes me feel smug or superior. I do feel I'm right.


jzt83
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Post by jzt83 »

I may think certain actions others perform are sub-optimal, but I try to refrain from pointing fingers and try to detach myself emotionally. I try to focus on learning from other people's experiences to create a better life for myself. I share with others my lifestyle and am keen to learn about other people's lifestyle. People will experience certain degrees of receptivity to my lifestyle, as will I with their's. I also try to focus on actionable things while attempting to refrain from playing the theoretical micromanaging game, "If only so and so did..."
I also view the world as a highly complex video game with certain actions/reactions and innumerable parameters built in it . The vast majority of what happens in the game is beyond my control and will just happen regardless of what I do. I can only navigate it by acting/reacting and contribute a very thin slice of influence.


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Stahlmann
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by Stahlmann »

interesting problem.

7Wannabe5
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

IMO, it’s increasingly relevant to at least occasionally change perspective from “my earning peers and how they spend!” to “my spending peers and how they earn?” If there is any danger of smugness attached to ERE this is where it might be found. The median per capita income in the U.S. is much lower than the average annual income per full-time wage earner inclusive of business/investment income.

One thing I liked about Andrew Yang’s “The War on Normal People” was how he repeatedly emphasized, “If you are reading this book, highly likely you are not normal.” IOW, it’s a mistake to generalize from the experiences and successes of the collection of individuals who somehow wind up reading this book/blog (inclusive of those who comment unfavorably!)

Campitor
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by Campitor »

Sanctimonious: making a show of being morally superior to other people.
Smug: having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements.

Being sanctimonious or smug is never a good because virtue of character is never the product of either. But there's significant value in adopting superior or optimal behaviors by judging if y is superior to x.

Finding better strategies and outcomes requires being critical. However being critical can be done without smugness and sanctimony; and it can be done in silence.

And being great at "ERE"(insert Wheaton level here) doesn't mean you are superior in other areas or even a nice person. Nor does stating the truth constitute smugness and sanctimony which is how many with sensitive or outsized egos perceive it regardless how humbly the truth is delivered.

None if the above is meant to imply that I've never been sanctimonious, smug, or prideful. I'm guilty as charged but I'm working on it.

7Wannabe5
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Campitor wrote:But there's significant value in adopting superior or optimal behaviors by judging if y is superior to x.
True, but dependent upon context of greater goal or good. Behavior y might be superior to behavior x within context of "achieve financial independence" but not within context of "compose a great symphony." Y may also be superior to x given primary goal of "increase my average happiness level' but not given primary goal of "increase our average happiness level." :lol:

I hope this does not come off as sanctimonious. I am just rather fascinated by the trade-off between going up/forward versus sideways/out. Also, I very recently found myself holding the hand of an extremely wealthy man while he died, and this experience is informing my current take on things in the direction of "piling up stuff"->not so good.

Hristo Botev
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by Hristo Botev »

Catholic perspective here.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta was known to go to confession once a day. What could she possibly have had to confess? Plenty, no doubt. The point: the deeper down the rabbit hole we go and the more we learn, the more we see our own shortcomings. Applied to ERE, I doubt anyone on this forum has any basis for being smug or sanctimonious. If you think you do, then you probably haven't set the bar high enough, or else you need to do a more honest "examination of conscience," as we Catholics call it.

Campitor
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by Campitor »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:33 am
True, but dependent upon context of greater goal or good. Behavior y might be superior to behavior x within context of "achieve financial independence" but not within context of "compose a great symphony." Y may also be superior to x given primary goal of "increase my average happiness level' but not given primary goal of "increase our average happiness level." :lol:
I wholeheartedly agree. What may be superior to one person may be suboptimal for another. We all have different circumstances, strengths, and weaknesses which require different solutions. I firmly believe that there are many roads to Rome. When I think about optimizing, I factor in the impact it has on others as much as humanly possible. I believe in the motto "do no harm" and "do unto others as you would have them do onto you".
Hristo Botev wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:38 am
Catholic perspective here.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta was known to go to confession once a day. What could she possibly have had to confess? Plenty, no doubt. The point: the deeper down the rabbit hole we go and the more we learn, the more we see our own shortcomings. Applied to ERE, I doubt anyone on this forum has any basis for being smug or sanctimonious. If you think you do, then you probably haven't set the bar high enough, or else you need to do a more honest "examination of conscience," as we Catholics call it.


Hristo - I love the way you phrased that. Elegant and to the point. You get a +1 from me. :D

horsewoman
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by horsewoman »

@7wb5 I'm sorry to hear that your friend died.

IlliniDave
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by IlliniDave »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:33 am
... I am just rather fascinated by the trade-off between going up/forward versus sideways/out. Also, I very recently found myself holding the hand of an extremely wealthy man while he died, and this experience is informing my current take on things in the direction of "piling up stuff"->not so good.
Sorry to hear of your friend's passing, 7Wb5. Being there at the end certainly jars one's perspective. Only time for me was my mom. Stuff very much seems unimportant. In my damaged worldview I tend to equate sideways/out with heaping up stuff and forward/up more with growth and motion, with the caveat that I'm generally talking about things other than bank accounts. Sometimes those grow too but they are just a small slice of the measure of a life. Your friend was a fortunate man to have someone there for him as the sun set, more so than for the wealth he accumulated.

7Wannabe5
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@horsewoman@IlliniDave:

Thank you. I was rather fond of the old codger. I will eventually write more in my own journal, but I would note that my current take, however unfair, is that if I hadn't made the decision a number of years ago to venture upon the path of joining this forum, I would not have recently found myself, several forks further along, driven forward by curiosity concerning the topic of finance, in the rather traumatic situation of being left alone in a house with the dead body of a multi-multi-millionaire, a table laden with variety of narcotics, and the likelihood of 10s of thousands of dollars and other valuables hidden in the squalor of his bedroom and den, for the period of a full hour and a half. IOW, that which is good if followed in careful full measure by young, male INTJ may be less good if followed in more carefree and/or careless half-measure by aging female ENTP.

Alphaville
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by Alphaville »

damn. are you ok?

7Wannabe5
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Alphaville:

Yes, I am doing better now, but I did wake up in the middle of the night in high state of anxiety for several days afterward. It was one of those situations where there is so much going on, it becomes difficult to prioritize your reaction state. For instance, I didn't even mention his insane literal ex-crack-whore, ex-girlfriend who thought I might be her new much needed life assistant, who was thrown out of the hospital because she was screaming at him.

Alphaville
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by Alphaville »

damn. damn damn damn.

7Wannabe5
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I guess I still don't quite grok how following my curiosity frequently leads to drama. It seems like it should lead to answers.

Alphaville
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:41 pm
I guess I still don't quite grok how following my curiosity frequently leads to drama. It seems like it should lead to answers.
enjoy this as one possible explanation out of many :D

https://poetryarchive.org/poem/curiosity/

7Wannabe5
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Re: There's no reason to be smug

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Lovely.

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