23 February 2018

RANDOM RANTS | Broke-ness: who’s broke and who’s not

A man counting money in Sudan (source: www.cafod.org.uk)

A man counting money in Sudan (source: www.cafod.org.uk)

I have been on the lower end of the income scale for considerable periods of my life, I’ve been jobless, cashless, food-less and hopeless. I learned how to value the money, which is totally different from being cheap. I shared a Doma with a friend as dinner, I am an expert at recycling old food and I am very good at making Al-Hamam Tar soup – “the pigeon flew,” which is basically boiling onions, salt and lemon. It looks, smells and supposedly tastes as if there was pigeon in the soup.

I discovered something new, broke-ness is in the eye of the beholder. I developed some sort of desensitization to broke-ness. I lowered my living expenses and standards , I compare myself with people with worse standards. I look at genuinely poor people, stop for 5 seconds, I scratch my head and then I think ‘I’m rich, Alhamdulillah‘.

Broke-ness is relative, I have a friend from one of these gulf countries. This guy declares bankruptcy when he reaches a couple of thousands of pounds in his bank account. I abuse him for that. I usually consider myself still rich if I have more than 50 pounds in my pocket. So basically this out-of-money mental state depends on the person’s original financial status. A guy with a 10,000 pounds salary may think he is broke if he only has 100, while another might consider himself quite rich if he has 10 pounds in his pocket by the end of the day.

So what is ‘Broke’? How can we define someone as being financially broke? We can say broke is a state of not being rich, but this is just like defining black as not being white. And on the other hand, how rich is rich?

Broke-ness in my humble opinion is definitely not the lack of cash. It is rather a state of mind. It is a terrible fake feeling, but if the person thinks too much about it, he will eventually believe it. An individual may consider himself broke in the following situations:

1- If the person was in a better financial status previously. For example, last week he or she could have afforded to eat in Real Burger, while this week he or she can only afford to eat Foul in A’awad Torash. These people should learn that they were not born kings, if you can’t afford a smart phone, buy Abu Lamba (Nokia 100).

2- When someone compares himself with richer people around him. They have “better”, or I have “less”. This mostly leads to jealousy. These people should learn to appreciate what they have.

3- Jobless people. Some people are actually jobless, but some are just proud. This is quite common among educated people. They feel shame in working in different, less financially rewarding fields. These people have no excuses whatsoever. If you want money, go and get it. I am a Dentist, other than fixing bad teeth, I worked many jobs. I was a shop keeper, I taught English, I coached basketball and I was once selling cookies in public. I feel more proud and less broke than the proud non-working people.

What I’m saying is, being broke is relative rather than true. Unless you can’t afford to put food on your table, get over it, you’re not broke.

2 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply to Ghada Yousif Cancel reply

  • Hud Mohammed Salih
    11 June 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    I love what you said, and it implies to me in so many ways. keep up the good work and looking forward to read more

  • Ghada Yousif
    25 September 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Another nice article, looking forward for more

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