I read this Mothership article: “A millennial in S’pore, who is not elitist, believes money can buy opportunity” today, and was frankly surprised this passed muster on the site. Bluntly put, the things he mentioned in his article cannot and should no surprise anyone. Maybe they thought they’d let this guy have a run at this thing and get some hits for the site with this hot button topic eh?
I get the gripe, but look, elitist or not…
Everyone wants the best
… for their kids, their family, their lovers.. etc. We want to get the best we can for them and make sure they have a path forward in the future. Imagine if like, your (or my) decidedly middle-class parents decided to just give up when they had us. Imagine if they went like this:
Would you be where you are today, sitting here reading this blog post, holding that mobile phone of yours? Probably not.
Well, same thing for the richer parent-child pairings out there. When I read the article and came across this line:
I basically choked on my #1.30 Kopi Peng Siu Dai. I mean, dude. Come on. If your kid failed hard at school or didn’t do well in university, you would’t help out? Of course you would.
Here’s the thing
All (non-sociopathic) parent would endeavour to give their kids the best, no matter what their personal morals regarding entitlement and privilege. That’s hypocrisy for you, yes. But also a fundamental tenant of the human race: We strive to leave behind a positive genetic legacy.
As humans, we have kids for many (weird-ass) reasons, one of the major ones being that we want to leave behind a better version of ourselves. Granted, that may not actually happen, but damn it humans will try ultra hard to leave behind this slightly improved version of what they wanted to be. Why do you think we’ve got so many kiasu parents pushing their kids so hard everyday in school? So their kids make more money than them, and have more success than them. See? A better version of themselves.
But y’know what?
I’d just like to say to the author, Wei Hao –
I did initially think it was like, all Butt-hurt because you ain’t got any money. Then I looked at your article again, and really, you were griping about the unfairness of the situation at large.
The crux of your gripe is that we claim to be meritocratic, yet our society doesn’t operate as such. We talk about equality but end up accepting and even exalting elitism. We worship money and listen to those who have it, simply because we ourselves lack it.
I’m here to tell you: It doesn’t have to be so.
Systemically, we all recognise the unfairness of it all. But, I think that there’s a way out of this on an individual level and it starts with exactly what you’re doing with your life RIGHT NOW.
You’re giving back by volunteering and helping kids who need that assistance. You’re aware of the situations that needy people are in. Heck, I wasn’t even aware that we needed $1500 to support a latchkey kid per term – BUT YOU WERE (and still are). Dude, think about this:
- You’re in a middle-class situation.
- You recognise it’s a tough life for you.
- You still help other people.
You’re equalising the playing field in your way, and we should all learn to do that in our own ways.
Like Dumbledore said right,
I truly believe that beyond a certain point, it’s the choices we make with the lives we have that make the biggest difference.
You chose well and it’s dudes like you that make me feel like there’s hope yet, and that’s something we can hold on too.
Now, all you need to do have have like, 100 more of you. 🙂