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Keeping Up With the Joneses

keeping up with the joneses [3] Who are the Joneses we’re trying to keep up with these days?

Like many Americans, we sometimes find ourselves comparing our lives to those of others. And most often, we look at those who make more and have more than we do.

As the old adage says, we look to “the Joneses.”

But who are the Joneses [4] really?

Consider this: If you make $43,000 a year, you’re in the top 12% of earners in the world.

That’s right. The world.

So maybe we should flip this whole Jones thing over.

Eighty-eight percent of the world is comparing itself to you … and me. WE are “the Joneses” to 88 percent of people on this planet. And yet, where do we most often look for comparison? The other 11 percent.

I’m not saying we should compare at all. We shouldn’t. Life is about much more than material things. But, just for a moment, let’s entertain this thought of keeping up with the proverbial family.


  • If you make more than $2 a day, you are the Joneses to 1.2 billion people.
  • If you have a warm bed to sleep in at night, you are the Joneses to the billions who are sleeping on cold, hard ground in makeshift huts and tents.
  • If you drive a car to work every day, your license plate might as well read “RICH” to the billions who have to walk miles just to get access to clean water [5], medical care, education or even a food source.
  • If you finished high school, you might as well be “Dr. Jones” to those who have no chance of getting an education.
  • If you eat three full meals a day, Jones. Jones. Jones.

So should I run out the front door yelling, “I’m rich! I’m rich!” as if I just won the lottery? Probably not. But that’s what the rest of the world may think.

Just a little perspective.