Have you ever found yourself wanting what your neighbors have?
This happened to the Graffney family in the action comedy movie, Keeping Up with the Joneses.
If you had a chance to see the movie, I’m sure you had some good laughs.
The story takes place in an American neighborhood where the Joneses move in across the street from Jeff & Karen Graffney. Things seem to be grand from the outside looking in with the new neighbors. Tim & Natalie Jones drive a new Mercedes, wear designer clothing, and have a worldly sophistication about them. The Joneses become the talk of the neighborhood, making Jeff & Karen become more curious about their new neighbors. Yet as they start snooping around, they find that the Jones’s life is not so rosy after all. The Joneses are international spies and the Gaffney’s wind up being caught up in the middle of an international espionage battle.
Some great one-liners from the movie are, “Things are not what they seem,” and “They are not who they say they are.” You can relate these same lines to your typical Jones family living in neighborhoods across America. Everything looks great from the outside, however, in most cases there is something wrong on the inside. What you can’t see is their overall financial picture. Traveling the world, having nice luxury cars, high-end trendy furnishings, fine dining and having everything materially you could ask for are all great, but borrowing the money to live this type of lifestyle does not make good financial sense. Don’t get me wrong here – I am not writing this to bash living a luxurious lifestyle. I think everyone is entitled to fulfill the dreams they have a passion for. I myself like some of the finer things in life. Instead, the point I would like to make is that there are households borrowing money to maintain a lifestyle they cannot afford.
Since we live in a “have it now” culture, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to keep up with the Joneses. This leads to lots of stress. To relieve some of your stress, you can let go of keeping up with anyone. You don’t need to let society and advertisers dictate how you should live.
So the next time you see your neighbors, the ones that seem to have everything, just be happy for them. Let go of the impulse to have what they have. By doing this you may just find yourself avoiding being caught up in an international spy ring. 😉