Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Us and Them

This is a very interesting article that a friend found about how "simple living" is actually a privilege for the wealthy. Also will cause anyone to think who has been guilty (myself included) of judging the spending habits of the poor. One example: it's easy to criticize those in the inner city for making poor nutritional choices for themselves and their children - aside from a frequent lack of education, there are no grocery stores in the inner cities. When you have to buy groceries from liquor stores, there's not a lot of choices for fresh produce. Again, farmers' markets, Whole Foods, organic vegetables... may be getting back to the basics but it's an opportunity that many people don't have. Read it.

One student wanted to take this picture of our hands after I told him that I have always wanted to be his color. He didn't believe me. Let me state up front that I understand how many situations in life are much much easier for me because I am white, and I'm not at all downplaying any racism that anyone has experienced, or any pain from having the standard of beauty in our culture be closer to my skin color than his. But from a purely aesthetic point of view, I prefer his skin color.

4 comments:

julie said...

have you ever read "simple living" magazine? it's a huge load of crap about all the stuff you need to buy to live simply, which also happens to be full of advertising from people who want you to spend your money on their stuff... so much for actually thinking that you simple living might involve buying less stuff?? Not that this issue is one of my soap boxes or anything...

Jessica said...

You know... I know there are places where schools have made community gardens. I have no idea whether this would be a catastrophe or a boon for your particular class (or maybe local churches or your/other grades already do this), but I'm thinking you could get grant money and/or donorschoose funding to do this. Also, wonder if someone creative could slip it under Physical Education if not biology/ecosystem standards?

Bronwyn said...

We had a garden, which was funded by Americorps and was great for a few years. The problem is upkeep. After a while, we need money and labor to keep things going and that's where we run into problems... Our Americorps garden got so run down that the district finally just paved over it. :(

jessamynit said...

there's a new book out about the authors' "year without buying". they basically went a year without buying anything ... well, anything other than healthy groceries. and a washing machine. and things from the thrift store. etc. there were a bunch of other exceptions.
I didn't read it, just heard an interview. basically they were trying to prove a point, that it's possible but "super hard" or something, ... nevermind that millions of people don't even have those luxuries! dumb.