What’s Yours is Mine?

Not quite. We live in an age where lots of people have this deranged idea that “if you’re not doing anything with it, then it’s mine.” Some examples are kids who are waiting for an inheritance or individuals that marry into money. They literally don’t believe in working because they “know” that they’ll end up in a good place anyway. I hear too often that people either my age or a tad older claim they own a house but in reality, it’s their parents’ house that they’re waiting to take over once they leave this universe or if they had help from an older generation with the mortgage. The kicker is that when you try to explain that they did absolutely nothing to earn that property, they still argue that it’s theirs. I’m not too sure what the actual debate is regarding this topic as I’m sure there are just as many people with reason that is opposed to claiming inheritance or gifts as something that they’ve earned themselves.

Call me “old fashioned” but I still believe in earning an honest living and paying for things with money that I’ve actually worked for – it’s just the way that I was raised. At a young age, I was taught to save up the loose change that I got on a weekly basis if I wanted to buy something that wasn’t a necessity, large in part because my parents weren’t in any comfortable position to buy me things that I didn’t need. I recall struggling with cheap glue and washed out markers (scouted at the flea market) for my homework and projects during younger years. Elmer’s and Crayola were only accessible at school through the community pile and one can only dream that one day they’ll have their own. I remember just exactly how much I hated using bargain school supplies and was absolutely euphoric when I was able to purchase my own Elmer’s gel and glue stick and Crayola color pencils with money that I’ve saved up from my chump change allowance – earned by doing dishes every single night of the year.

Because I was raised in a household that didn’t have any spare money to spend on hobbies and knick knacks, I started working early during high school, haven’t accepted another penny from my parents and haven’t looked back since. One can see why I am so stubborn when it comes to claiming ownership of literally anything. Yeah, I still live at home but not for nothing. With the amount that I pay back every month, you might as well call it “rent.” My mother occasionally badgers me about saving up for my own house and I tell her time and again that literally half of my income goes into her house that her and my dad worked for, the remaining chunk goes toward transportation and other necessity costs. My parents might’ve been able to scrape up enough for the house that they bought during the housing crash a decade ago, but she is downright delusional to think that I’d be able to buy one today with my solo income, or whatever’s left of it after paying all of their bills and mine. My dad would take it a step further and say that their house will be mine eventually anyway, but neither of them is willing to understand that I want nothing to do with that house – even when reality is that it really will be mine much later down the road, but I still see it as a place I’ve been paying rent to live in, and not a house that truly belongs to me. It’s not that my parents absolutely need my help but rather, it was a personal choice that I made. I’m perfectly fine with helping out at home so that they can live more comfortably at the expense of not being able to purchase my own home anytime soon. Let’s be real – I’ve had a retail income for the past decade living in San Francisco, unless I up my game or move to the middle of nowhere, I probably won’t be able to buy my own property in The City until I’m 40 – and I’m perfectly fine with that. Majority of people think that kids that live at home, live there for free, and often time, that is completely true. In my personal circle, I literally am the only person I know that pay to live at home but that’s okay. I was raised with family values and am damn proud of that. In the Chinese culture, parents will always have a space for their children in their own home – kids moving out is always the kids’ choice, not the parents.

I tell people all the time that they are fortunate that their parents don’t need them to contribute to the house and that they should take advantage of this time to save up and buy their own, but most of them just state the obvious – “what’s the point? that house is going to be mine anyway” and that really pisses me off. I’m not even being jealous or anything like that because, quite frankly, I take great pride in earning my own things – but if these people are already like this, I can’t even begin to imagine how their kids are going to turn out. The worse ones are the ones who in turn tell me to buy my own house because they already “own” one or two, but never take into consideration that their down payment didn’t come from their own bank accounts. They literally had no means to even purchase their own house if they didn’t have help. Take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture. You haven’t worked in quite a number of years and whatever money you did have at one point, you’ve already blown on food and luxury items that you had no means of owning because in reality you wouldn’t even be able to afford rent on your own in this day and age. A couple of laps later, these same people finally say they “understand that they’ve been very fortunate” but when it comes down to the cold, hard, truth – they still don’t and probably never will understand the value of a dollar. Again, this is a sad phenomenon that I’ve been dealing with, not only in my personal life, but even as an outsider reading news articles regarding entitled brats nowadays.

Are we, as humans, ever going to be able to learn what it’s like to work hard for anything anymore? Or will we, going forward, be accustomed to the new reality of inherited property, gifted cars, and sponsored bank accounts?

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