Everybody hates the rich. Most of the hatred stems from jealousy because we see rich people as either being extremely lucky or they’ve possibly been dishonest. Think about all the common stereo types about rich people: stingy; mean; cruel; arrogant; show-offs.

Imagine sitting at the traffic lights and a guy pulls up next to you in a red, shiny convertible that you are sure costs more than your house. What is your immediate impression of this guy? I bet a few of those words I mentioned would cross your mind.

You must realise that it’s not your fault that you have negative connotations towards rich people. Throughout your entire life you have been subjected to propaganda which promotes these views of the rich.

Let’s consider how the rich are portrayed in literature and as fictional characters. The bad, mean and cruel characters are usually also rich. The story usually follows the same line: Rich character is mean, stingy and hateful until the poor character shows them a better way and they are healed.

In a ‘Christmas Carol’, the rich character is called ‘Scrooge’ (Charles Dickens didn’t want to mince words) and he has to endure a night where three ghosts visit him before he finds his way and gives his money away.

Mr Smithers in ‘The Simpsons’ never finds his way, although in some episodes he becomes kind. He even adopts puppies in one episode. However, with time the uncomfortableness of kindness, honesty and decency always overwhelm him and he returns to his evil rich ways. I believe he made a coat out of the puppies’ fur.

Most bad guys in the movies will also have the character trait of being rich. Think of all the Bond bad guys on their private islands and secret lairs, demanding a million dollars random. Has there ever been a bad guy that is poor?

If there has, his badness will always be justified through some childhood trauma. However the rich bad guys don’t need justification. They’re rich so they must be bad. This requires no explanation for the audience to understand just how evil they are.

Why fictional characters are keeping you poor

The rich become rich because they behave and think differently to other people. Is this reason enough to insist on branding them as evil? Although it seems unfair, I don’t feel sorry for rich people at all. This universal perception of rich people is not affecting them in the slightest. In fact, it helps them because this type of thinking is keeping you poor.

Imagine that you’re twenty pounds overweight and a slob. A woman pulls up next to you at the traffic lights in the best shape of her life. She’s happy, glowing and in her gym clothes. She’s chatting on the phone and has such energy you can’t stop looking at her.

Instead of turning left to get a bucket of chicken at KFC, you turn right and follow her to the gym and sign up. You want what she has. This is motivation enough and you sweat it out at the gym for a month and suddenly you are the glowing, energetic person.

You wanted to be like this woman because you were ‘attracted’ to her. And I don’t necessarily mean a sexual attraction, just an attraction to have what she has.

Now let’s return to our rich guy in his show-off car. You are repulsed by this guy because he is rich and you have stereotypical negative ideas about what rich people are like. This repulsion will keep you poor forever because why would you ever have enough motivation to become something that repulses you.

As Napoleon Hill said: “Our thoughts become things; make sure you choose the good ones.”

Next time you’re staring at your bank account and wondering why the balance is so shockingly low, take a moment to consider your thoughts about rich people. Would you be be mean, stingy, cruel when you are rich? Or do you believe you could do more good in the world when you are rich, like donate to charities and help people?

Perhaps there are rich people out there out there who are kind and generous. After all you would be like that if you were rich. Isn’t it time society did away with the ‘rich’ stereo-type so that more people can open their minds to actually becoming rich.