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Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?

I’m not snobbish about anything anymore. Used to be to a small extent, but I live in an area where there are a lot of people with more money that we have — and we do well. So there’s always something to envy. I still have moments when I feel insecure because I don’t measure up to others in terms of house size, interior decorating, or the car I drive. Reason now usually holds me back from jealousy.

We moved here to our current home in 1986, and there were still a couple of horse farms around us, as well as a dairy farm across from our small 1970’s development. Just the right setting for us. The dairy farm went first; it had probably been sold just about the time we bought our house. The rolling hills began to display houses considerably larger than ours. As the building continued, the houses got bigger and bigger, and sold like hotcakes. It’s actually a conservative housing community now; another up the road where an apple orchard stood until about 4 years ago, is filled with houses even larger.

Older three bedroom ramblers, even if they are in good condition, are being torn down so people can erect dream homes. Thus, there are few homes in our area for first-time buyers, unless they’re rich at an early age — and that happens, too. It’s like we’re narrowing the market to only the well-off, and reducing the pool of homes for people with less money. Each of us, individually or as a family, makes choices about how we spend our money, and we shouldn’t question it in others. If and when I do, than I am being a snob.

It sounds like I’m being envious — but that’s not the case. I know homes are the biggest and best investment one makes. But often homes, and other things, are purchased with a view to making the “right” or “best” impression. What people own shouldn’t define them; it is the person him or herself who needs to find meaning in the act of living and being, not in what is owned. People need to ask themselves if having “stuff” actually makes them happier, or does it place undue pressure “to keep up with the Joneses”. Are they living like they want to live, or how they think they should live? The quest for happiness is elusive; often people need to look inward, not outward to find it. Make no mistake, I know plenty of very well-off people who are kind, generous, and non-judgmental, who are happy and fulfilled because of what they do and believe, rather than what they have.

My snobbery is just a deep wondering if the people who display their wealth are as generous with others as they are with themselves. Virtually no one in my immediate community lives in need of anything; it’s just a matter of the quantity and quality of the things we need and want and buy. I’m content with my life and feel no longer need to prove anything to anyone, except through my behavior, actions, and beliefs.