"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are You Poor? Are you Grateful?

*************These are not representative of blog readers as I usually publish**********
The three most dangerous words in my vocabulary...."I've Been Thinking"!
Actually I do a lot of that and my latest thoughts have been concerned with gratitude.
Gratitude is apparently and often forgotten feeling for the vast majority of us.

First, there are no poor people in Secondlife... well, let me qualify that. There are no poor people in Secondlife that are using a computer they own and connecting to broadband with a connection they pay for.
Yes, some of us are financially more affluent, but no one here is poor.
No one is living in a mud hut, or yet worse... simply lying down at night to sleep where ever tiredness finds you.
If you are very young, or if you skipped geography in school, a brief primer.
Using metrics from the countries I'm familiar with, the average income in India is approximately $800USD a year or roughly 100 rupees a day, Bangladesh is a little bit lower. A person with and IT degree that would earn upwards of $80,000USD a year in the USA can expect around one fourth of that in Delhi.
Still terribly common is the practise of maiming children so as to make them more successful as beggars. While usually done by criminals that have abducted the children, it still happens to the children of those maimed years ago.
You can't beg well?... starve.

I don't bring the above numbers up to denigrate in anyway the countries I mentioned... while I've not visited Bangladesh, I have gone to India and I tell any that will listen that I love India and the people.
India was a life changing experience for me.
I do mention those figures to demonstrate how ungrateful so many of us in virtual worlds can be,  myself included.

I believe that the vast majority of the people in Secondlife never read the forums... they never read what we write in these blogs... they go on, happily or not... oblivious to all we whine and moan about.
Those are the ones that come to Secondlife to have fun, to enjoy themselves, to forget the kids, cars, grass that needs mowing, the boss at work that's and ass. That's how I was my first  year and a half or so.
No politics.
Now there are a few of us that do invest a lot of time, creative skills, as well as money in virtual worlds.
Why? Why does someone like myself pay The Benevolent Monarchy nearly $6,000 USD a year?
I started wondering just how many people actually make any money in Secondlife, since a lot of the constant rant about what the "boys" do to our experience seems often to be linked to whether we are free to do as we please, be that crossing sims un impeded, using group chat successfuly, being able to find our content in search, or being upstaged via off world content sales ran by the company.

My first call was to Crap Mariner,  I appreciate his involvement in our world and I know first hand how it is to run a small estate. I did find that CMs experience is much like mine... more about that in a minute.
My next call was to Tateru Nino, She always has a good view of most Secondlife metrics.
My question to her was did she have any information on how many people in Secondlife actually made enough money to cover their time. I was thinking 40 hours a week (which I certainly come close to) and an income of $45,000USD from either content sales or land sales. That number is achievable, go back and look at the furor over the 'Red Zone' stuff... that guy make a killing!
With her permission here's the salient part of her email response:

"The closest I can come to a figure is looking at the last positive monthly Linden flow data, which showed about 220 users or so with a positive flow of over 5000 USD.
A quick guess for how many are making 45K or over would then be "under 200". A slightly less quick guess would be "under 50". But I can't really back that up... it could be "under 5" for all I know."

For me... and I think for CM... we come in world, we pay tier... {most all of that tier is covered by our estate residents} and we do it because it's fun. It is a way to meet people we wouldn't otherwise meet, a way to establish friendships all over the world.
I've mentioned before that most of my computer basics were taught to me by Twinkle Villota.
Twinkle is from Bangladesh.
Poly is from the middle part of the USA... she took over where Twinkle left off.
Without her skills I would never have had the skills to run and estate.
I have friends from places in the world I will never be able to visit and that, to me is priceless.

Am I thrilled with some of what The Benevolent Monarchy does?  NO!
Am I going to leave? NO!   I plan on being here as long as the servers are on.
Do I need to perhaps change my attitude? YES!
You see, Secondlife has also been a life changing experience.
I need to remember to live in the now, to grateful that I am not poor and never was.
I need to learn to accept the gift that each of you gives me... remember, my chances of meeting anyone of you are around six billion to one.

And so it goes
I love you all, brinda

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