In the world of tech startups, I’m basically surrounded by highly privileged people every single day. At my company, which like most companies is mostly a bunch of white people, every single day I interact with people who have no idea what it’s like to have a real life dilemma: to struggle to have food on the table, a roof over their head, legitimate and legal status in a country, the difference between life and death of a struggling loved one. So if I am surrounding myself every day with people who generally have the means to live a comfortable life, then why do I feel like every time I take an international trip that I am the one who is privileged versus them, and they make it seem like they could not do the exact same trip?
I don’t believe it’s because of lack of ability or lack of means or lack of money. It’s really about lack of desire or curiosity. I have shopaholic colleagues who spend endlessly on clothing, shoes, and accessories, and others who spend way too much on rent when compared to what they probably earn. I have another colleague who has an inordinate amount of extremely expensive and collectible Nikes. And then there’s my colleague who loves flashy cars. We put time, effort, and money into the things we care about. They don’t really care about travel or learning about the world. But I do.
A lack of curiosity about the world is so unattractive to me. If you live a comfortable life and do not struggle to make ends meet, it’s hard for me to fathom why you would lack curiosity in understanding other peoples, other cultures, other places in the world and how they operate. The world we live in is so vast. It’s far more than just the tri-state area.