Friday, 20 July 2012

A pondering on money

Wealth and privilege are funny things, especially when it comes to children. Funny because no matter how rich a child is, they are still a child. An example that comes to mind is Ritchie Rich (which I watched recently- a classic never dies!) who has everything he ever wanted but isn't happy because he doesn't have friends. The children I have been working with in the last two weeks are from the wealthiest backgrounds. They wear designer clothes and have travelled around the world, each without really being aware of the difference between them and other children, I guess because they don't know anyone that is not like them.
But the designer jeans still get grass stains, the children still cry through homesickness, they complain about the vegetables at dinner, laugh at stupid things (mainly farts etc), and want desperately to dance with each other to the slow songs at the disco. But I also feel like I've slipped into a parallel universe when I see 8 year olds taking fifty pound notes out with them casually on day trips and buying designer watches as if they were penny sweets. Some are spoilt, but most are well mannered and strangely unaware of the lives they are lucky enough to lead.
In a similar way, I'm always struck when I go somewhere new that places can be more alike than I ever imagined. Invariably there is water, food, people, trees and sky. The world is a small place.
I guess the point of all this is that maybe it is only when children grow up that the gaps really start to show, turning gradually into voids that prevent people from understanding or empathising with each other. But for now, while only today is important, grass stains and paint smears and chocolate round mouths are universal and fun is all that matters.

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