I discussed this with some friends and found out their general feeling is “what you have is what you are”.
“If today they have money & tomorrow they lose it all, then are they the same person ?”
My opinion – No, they are not.
First, people who have a lot of money don’t just suddenly lose it over night. They can lose significant amounts of money at one time, but for the most part if they have that much money, they have a backup plan. Losing one’s money is usually done at a gradual pace, unless you are like the bloke from the UK who went to Vegas and bet his life savings on one spin of the wheel. No backup plan. Stupid. People don’t usually do that.
Second, when people start to lose money the cracks in the personality start to show. They become a little more irritable, they start losing sleep, they may develop some type of substance abuse. Depending on how much they lose at any given time the results can be more or less dramatic.
Third, they are poor. They go from being rich to being poor overnight. Won’t happen, but let’s use your hypothesis. Imagine losing all your worldly possessions overnight. The house, the pool, the hot tub, the home theater, the cars, everything. Gone. Now Mr. Jones goes from sleeping on satin sheets to sleeping on Wal-Mart sheets. There will be some changes in the person. Very dramatic changes. The guy who used to cut Mr. Jones’ yard is now his boss. You are not the same person when you are poor. You now have to learn what fixed asset accounting is.
What you have is how other people perceive you. Obviously, if you have a nice house and drive a Lamborghini or a Porsche, than other people will believe you are doing quite well. They may not know that you are in debt up to your nose and sinking fast. Or that your wife is sleeping with your attorney and your 15 year old daughter just had a wonderful time with the football team.
The person I am to you is the person I choose to let you see. I don’t drive nice cars, I don’t live in a big home. I am just an average Joe as far as you know. You know what I do for a living and you know a little about my personal life. Hell, you may have even been in my house a couple of times. But do you really think you know me by what I let you see?
Human beings are funny. Everybody wants to be liked. People will do some strange things to get to that point. So the next time you are talking to friend face to face, try to figure out what it is they are hiding from you. What kink in the personality don’t they want you to see. Try to figure out if you really know this person, or if you really want to. It could be fun. Or it couldn’t be.