" Keeping Up With The Joneses"

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Have you ever heard the cliché, “Keeping Up With the Joneses”?  Have you ever wondered why the name Jones was chosen?  Maybe it’s because it is a common name.  No matter why or how the name came about, it’s befitting, a common name for a common problem. The phrase was popularized when a comic strip of the same name was created by cartoonist Arthur “Pop” Momand.  This catchphrase refers to the comparison to one’s neighbor as a benchmark for social caste.  To fail to “Keep up with the Joneses” is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/keeping_up_with_the_Joneses). 

I believe we’ve all encountered someone with this “Keep up with the Joneses” disorder.  There are many terms that describe this behavior i.e. greed, envy, jealousy or covet. Are those four included in the seven deadly sins?  Is there a reason why they are referred to as sins?  Maybe it’s because some people will do almost anything to be like the Joneses.  Someone once said, “Copying is the highest form of flattery.”  Are you flattered when a relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker compliments you in one breath then copies you in the next.  What about those who silently copy, the discrete ones.  They leave no obvious hints or clues, but the next thing you know they coincidentally have the same car, outfit or even the same house. Honestly are you flattered or are you annoyed?  Does it feel like you’ve lost your autonomy or your independence?  Do you feel like your individuality has been infringed upon or should I say stolen?  

People must understand that what is meant for us we shall have.  What is not we won’t. Stop trying to mentally justify buying that dress or that suit because Mister or Misses Jones has one.  Are the Joneses going to foot the bill?  Every individual has his or her own journey in life; no two people are exactly the same not even twins.  So, how is it that the person that copies manages to convince him or herself that they thought of the idea first? “Mr. Jones bought the new Mercedes SLR, I have wanted one for years he just beat me to it.”  Does this sound familiar?  I believe this behavior is called denial or delusional.  People make up all types of excuses to justify this behavior.   Envy is a psychological issue also known as an inferiority complex.  Many times people with this disorder don’ realize they have it.  In their mind it’s normal to want to “Keep up the Joneses. But, at what cost, the cost of loosing your shirt, pants, socks and shoes?  Stop and think about it, is it that important to be like someone else?  No, it’s not, individuality is what makes us unique or might I say exclusive.  So go ahead and walk like Joneses, talk like the Joneses, dress like the Joneses or even look like the Joneses. In the end you’ll still be you, old average Joe.  

Keeping up with the Joneses is a tireless job and can leave you over extended with bad credit and running from the repossession man.


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