Monday, March 23, 2009

Life's Lessons

As a child, my family did not have a lot of money. You can imagine that a single mother in the eighties wasn't living the glamorous life depicted by Dallas or Working Girl. But my mother, bless her, made do with what she had and managed to raise a fairly spoiled daughter with a tremendous shoe habit none the less.

However, I do recall an unfair bias towards those who lived in the "poor" parts of town. I went to High School only a mile or two from one of the poorest and most violent towns in all of California and the movie Dangerous Minds was based on the true story of a high school in my same district. A school whose fields and gymnasiums I visited many times as a cheerleader. In fact I had friends, and fellow cheerleaders, whose homes my mother was afraid to let me visit because they were on the wrong side of those proverbial tracks.

When TheBoy and I first began dating we lived (separately) in an apartment complex in one of the most affluent towns I have ever known. Once, while we were walking around the quaint "mid-town" area he told me how as a child he thought that the complex we both currently resided in was "scary" as a child because only poor people lived in apartments, therefore all people who live in apartments must be "bad". Nevermind that he went to school at the emelentary school boardering our complex.

It is random sort of misguided predjudices such as those that really can get me standing tall on my soap box and feeling generally dejected as to the fate of society because they seem so... unfair. And yet, this afternoon I witnessed a high speed chase in my own (completely residential, though fairly affordable so not concidered "good") neighborhood that left me standing in my front lawn, wondering what the hell had happened and conversing with various neighbors about how such a thing could happen.

Perhaps its not a matter of "good" versus "bad" or "poor" versus "affluent". Maybe people are doing the best they can and trying to succeed based on what they have. And maybe there are a few bad apples in the bunch (whether they are organic specials or just plain old granny smiths) that are hindering us all.

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