Tuesday, April 3, 2012
How I feel after reading the story about the ant and the grasshopper
One of our colleagues has my blood absolutely boiling right now... his overly simplified story of the welfare system depicts recipients as lazy, drug-abusing, basically useless members of society. You don't like welfare? FINE - WE GET IT. But get off the soapbox and stop making assumptions about the lives of Americans who you truly know NOTHING about. Many of use were fortunate enough to have been born into well-off families, making social mobility easier. How can we possibly pass judgement on a group that has in many cases been denied the all-important "equality of opportunity?"
Now, let's take a step back to kindergarden where, presumably, we all learned about fairness, and think about this: If the grasshopper was born in a poor neighborhood with uneducated parents, what do you think his chances at success are? How about the ant, who may or may not have been born into much money, but nonetheless has parents who value education? Now, for those of you who were paying attention to the fairness unit in pre-k, what is wrong with this picture?
Well, let me take a stab at it: The grasshopper doesn't stand much of a chance at all compared to the ant... WOW, MIND-BLOWING STUFF! The ant had all of the necessary tools to succeed, while the grasshopper likely fell into same circle of social stagnation that his parents did. It's not rocket-science here, folks. And until our education system can figure out a way to magically instill morals in children from day one (typically the parents' job), the vicious cycle will likely continue - people cannot always pull themselves up by their bootstraps and succeed.
Now that I'm beginning to cool down a bit, I will wrap-up. I am appalled that people can pass such judgement on a group that they know so little about. I will admit that I know nothing about people on welfare - I grew up in a safe, nurturing home, and was always given what I needed. But I know that everyone cannot say the same - it is a matter of class. How can the upper echelons of society pass such severe judgement on the poor when they are merely products of the same class system, albeit a different end of the spectrum, as well?
I am not sorry for the ideological rant.