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My range of wealth has been somewhere between -30k to 60k in the bank. That might not seem like a big range but I can tell you it is worlds of difference in terms of lifestyle. I once made $30,000 in the stock market, in one hour after the bell rang. Thinking it would keep rising, I went back to bed (rookie mistake!). I woke up to to find my gains negated, and my losses at around $15k. Over the past two years I have battled debt, debt that would have been nonexistent if I had just pressed the sell button.

I am thankful for this, very very thankful. I used to be, for lack of better words, a prick (still am, to a lesser degree!). I would spend money on trivial things. Now I know much better the value of a dollar, and have a least a little bit more perspective on the struggle that many people face ($30k in debt might seem trivial, but I paid as much as others with $200k of student loans due to high interest rates). As of today, I am almost debt free.

Startup culture really saddens me, not because of the chase for wealth - there is nothing bad about that. It saddens me because young people get rich really quickly, many times straight out of college or earlier. They never know what it is like to carry debt. They get rich, and they have no perspective. Elitism is not at all uncommon, subconscious or not, and it has nothing to do with how liberal you are, what charities you donate to, etc. Obviously, I do not look down on these people, I just wish they could experience legitimate hardship for their own benefit.

What a beautiful sentiment. Until I was in my early 30s, I was generally contemptuous of those who were struggling with weight issues, with physical or psychological pain, or with fear of death. I didn't mean to be so arrogant, and was generally not aware that I was at the time. I was not unsympathetic, exactly, I just didn't have enough personal context to grok others' internal state. I was young and healthy and financially comfortable, and with no one else to care for. It would indeed be sad to have continued throughout my life without seeing a bit deeper into the suffering of others. It would be sad to continue from this point without similar opportunities, though I think that once you have taken a first hard look, you can keep looking deeper without having to repeat old mistakes.

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