A wealth attraction author believed that people should walk streets paved with gold so that they can attract wealth into their lives. Ricky Reyes’ version was a little crass: “Kailangan maging social climber ka tapos pag narating mo na yong itaas, balikan mo yung mga nasa ibaba.” You should be a social climber and then once you are at the zenith, return to the ones you have left behind.
So we went to Cebu and stayed at Shangrila Mactan to see streets paved with gold and social climb.
Most of us resent the word “social climber”. But when one goes to the root of things, what does a social climber mean anyway? Google says it means “someone who seeks social prominence by obsequious behavior.” Obse-what? Oxford defines obsequious as “servilely obedient or attentive (low, cringing, toadying, sycophantic, groveling).” Google goes further on to say that a social climber is a parvenue, one who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained acceptance of others in that class, and that being called a “social climber” would be considered as an insult by most. But is it the same as the “new rich” defined by Timothy Ferriss in his book “Four Hour Work Week”? But Ferriss characters do not “grovel”, they automate their income and play, without seeming to want acceptance, and as a matter of fact, are ushered into the world of the elite without so much as a sigh.
So we went through our gilded foyers, do a little hopscotch in the clear Cebu waters, feeding fishes, massaged with lushness around us, and yes, shameful (less) prosperity.
Is a social climber a social climber because of how he/she entered into his/her “new state”, i.e., through marriage, winning in the lottery… or is it his/her behavior, low, servile, groveling that makes her unacceptable? Is the rank of the rich so impenetrable (read: should not be penetrated) that it is only reserved for the rich? How then does one practice Dan Kennedy’s advise that we should hobnob with the rich, observe them, listen to them, mirror them because they know “the secret”? How can we reconcile this with what society imposes upon us – that we should not be social climbers, that we should not attempt to be rich?
And then again, why not?
We eat a breakfast buffet, a spread of bread, coffee, bacon, fruit, jam, a luxury for the senses (at least mine – I love breakfasts!). I sigh in contentment and lift a glass ceiling put there by beliefs that are almost two hundred years old.
Reyes explained it further: “Pag mayaman ang mga kasama mo, yayaman ka.” If you are with the rich, you will be rich. He thinks it might be because you imbibe their way of thinking, their belief that “there is more than enough for everyone” and with their companionship, you start to think that yes, you also do deserve the good life. I remember a movie (the title escapes me now) where a chauffeur became a millionaire because he bought the same stocks that his boss bought, and when the stocks shot up, his net worth did too. Mirroring. Shadowing. Learning from the very best.
Provided you do not get yourselves into debt, can control your gushes and ooohhs and aaaahhhs (so the stigma of being an social climber does not latch on to you), immersions like this should be a regular occurrence in your life. This particular “immersion” cost 7,500 per night (net, 9,000) as opposed to the regular rate of 9,500 per night (net, 11,400) and included daily buffet breakfasts. I even got a free overnight as part of Shangrila Mactan’s promotion. Again, because the rich think they deserve it, the universe conspires to make them realize it – at a fraction of the cost.
Believe that you deserve it.
Text by Issa and Pictures by D. Copyright 2009.
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