Keeping Up With the Joneses

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 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.

    Image asking how you are doing compared to the jones asking you to input your salary to compare

  • 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, 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.

6 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Lizzie March 25, 2012

    Great post! Took the test. We may not be considered rich in the US (and we are not by any means), but we sure are in Haiti!

  2. amy metzger November 28, 2010

    Thanks Tim! Your succinct piece is very timely and probably a revelation for most that will read it.

  3. Megan – Faith Like Mustard November 28, 2010

    Fantastic post. If only more people realized it!!

  4. Christina Perez November 28, 2010

    This was a great post that I was blocked from sharing on facebook as it was flagged as being abusive or spammy. Can anyone tell me why? This is the 2nd time I have been blocked from sharing Compassion posts.

  5. craig downs November 24, 2010

    One time as a lot of us do from time to time I thought how it would be if I was rich. Then I thought about my sponsored children and it hit me that I am rich and that humbled me.

  6. shawn November 24, 2010

    Great post. I have to remind myself of that often and unfortunately I forgot almost as quickly as I remind myself. In our culture it is easy to look at others and want what they have, even when we have so much!

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