But for a moment, let’s explore the pitfalls associated with trying to jump into a higher income bracket and social class. There are dangers in aggressively trying to elevate one’s status, even in America. Imagine being McDonnell, the son of an Air Force officer, suddenly surrounded by all the trappings of wealth and power. Is it so hard to imagine how he might be tempted? That doesn’t mean it would be right — only that as people, we should be able to understand.
Living beyond your means and trying to be something you’re not is fraught with danger. In this regard, the McDonnells are extreme examples of modern American culture.
Sometimes people who come from humble beginnings become bitter and resentful, even as they rise in station. And folks who don’t have a lot of money, but are trying to accomplish something, often don’t have the luxury of holding out for the perfect situation. They have to accept some messiness.