This week Uditha Devapriya writes about what life is like, coming from a privileged or wealthy background, in the Page 10-11 story titled, ‘confessions of a silver spooner.’ While there is often an inferiority complex within people who come from rural areas and aren’t wealthy or fluent in English, sometimes people are ashamed of their wealthy families.
There is a girl enjoying the bus ride home. A man gets in and starts telling the passengers about his illness and asks for money. A few people give him a coin or two. The girl has some money to spare so she gives him a note. She suddenly feels like everyone is looking at her, judging her and misinterpreting her good deed as a way of reminding them what they can’t afford to do. There’s a high chance that no one notices how much money she gave the man, but she doesn’t feel that way. She is conscious of the fact that she is able to part with more money than most people.
There are stories about people with only one leg who have climbed mountains. There are stories about children who come from poverty-stricken families who get excellent results at exams. There are stories about people who start with nothing but end up building an empire.
While these stories add to a person’s achievements, they also make people who already come from wealthy backgrounds feel less worthy. They feel they haven’t tried enough or that they have no right to boast or feel proud about their achievements because many think their path to success was already paved.
However, just as those from underprivileged backgrounds, who achieve great things in life have a lot to be proud of, those from privileged backgrounds who rise in success also have reasons to be proud. Thus it isn’t fair to say that the longer the path to success the more praise they deserve.
Further, just as one shouldn’t be ashamed of their underprivileged backgrounds, people shouldn’t be ashamed of their privileged backgrounds either. Wealth isn’t something to discriminate against, and this goes both ways. You shouldn’t discriminate against someone because they aren’t wealthy and neither should you discriminate against someone who is wealthy.
Reading ‘confessions of a silver spooner,’ you will see how the silver spooners cornered the students who weren’t as rich or fluent in English. However, remember that sometimes discrimination happens against people we don’t expect to be victims of discrimination. And such people are often neglected and don’t have anyone to fight for them.
During the past few days, most online posts have been against the Yulin dog meat festival where many dogs will be slaughtered. People were angry at the fact that people were having a dog meat festival. For whatever the reason, people find it disgusting to consume dog meat. However, such an uproar hasn’t been raised about hens, cattle, pigs, fish or goats. Most people don’t bat an eyelid about the many slaughterhouses or meat festivals that don’t of course involve the meat of man’s best friend.
Is this because one group is better than the other and that their rights are more important than the rights of others? Before you fight for the rights of a group, take a moment to ask yourself if, by doing so, you are, intentionally or not, discriminating against another group.