Tuesday, 5 February 2013

"Fair" is a Matter of Perspective

I recently had the chance to read a very interesting article in Maclean’s called "Consumerism on display at the University of B.C.”  I invite you to take a chance to read it before you continue reading mine. 

I am a member of the Millennial generation and must admit that I was more then a little disappointed by their attitude.  Or maybe I’m just ignorant.  You see I wasn’t aware that nice cars and looking good were a part of the “good life”.  Maybe I’m just an old fashioned feminist but I would take major exception to any man who viewed me in a “jugemental and materialistic” way. 

There is one comment that really stuck with me though. "“I really want a Michael Kors purse because all my friends have one but I can’t afford it because they’re a few hundred dollars,” the 21-year-old English major says. “It’s unfair.”"  Really sweet heart?  That’s unfair?  Do you know what “unfair” actually means.  In case your English major education didn’t cover basic vocabulary let’s review.  Unfair: Not based on or behaving according to the principles of equality and justice. 

I suppose you could make the argument that in order to have equal materialistic items as your peers you would need to have a hundred dollar purse.  Of course on the other hand an approximate 5 million children die of causes related due to poor nutrition each year.  That seems a bit more of a gap in equality than your lack of a purse. 

Would you like to come out of the abstract and a bit closer to home?  In Canada 29,590 children are in foster care.  Most of them will never be placed with a permanent family and will end up aging out of the system.  Many will not have the benefit of a stable family, let alone one that will pay their university tuition.  And you think you’re deprived? 

As much as I wish I could I can’t make these more than numbers to you unless you chose to think of them as more than statistics.  You’ve probably heard this same tired lecture a thousand times before.  I can’t make you feel for people you've never met and know nothing about.  But I have met people in similar situations.  They aren’t just numbers for me, they are people, wonderful amazing people who I have talked with and cared for and laughed with.  To them “unfair” is some much more then not having the latest style. 

My advice?  Grow up.  The world doesn’t owe you things you haven’t earned and there is so much more out there than your circle of friends and the latest fashion.  

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