Here in the United States and probably in many parts of the world, people have a strange relationship with the word “Rich.” Many of our politicians tell us that there is an imbalance in our economic structure and that the “rich” should be paying more taxes than they do. The “rich” are looked upon as a segment of our population who live the ultimate life….parties, expensive cars, mansions and servants for every need. While we look at the rich as a group on a pedestal, why are so many portions of our daily interactions presented to us as a means to help us become “rich?”
If you ask some people, would you like to be rich? Without a second’s hesitation they answer, you bet!! But if you phrase the question to the same people in another way and say, do you like the rich? The answer could be quite different. The dilemma we face in our society is that while we may despise the rich, we would want to be one of them in a heartbeat. All we have to do for examples is to look around us….think to yourself, how many people each day thump down hard-earned money for a chance to be a millionaire? It could be winning a lottery, having the perfect hand in Las Vegas, or as easy as being the next “Apprentice” on Donald Trump’s successful television show. The explosion of reality based shows reveal just how far some will go to become rich.
So we are left with the schizophrenic phrase, “I want to be rich, but, I don’t like the rich.” Is it any wonder why so many have problems?:) The “us and them” scenario does not show itself any stronger than the line that is drawn in the sand between the rich and everyone else. Everyone else, you may ask? Sure, because if you’re not rich, whether you’re poor or middle-class, you’re in the same boat….not rich!:) How many television channel’s evening programming is based upon those who are rich enough and successful enough to walk down the red carpet? We look and wonder at the awards ceremonies, and ask ourselves, will we be worthy of one day feeling the red velvet under our feet? Pressing palms with the other rich and famous? Eating at all the “in” places, until one day we too show up on the evening news…..ah! then we say we have made it, while at the same time, tell everybody how we feel for those in need!! Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous…an obsession that many can’t get enough of.
As crazy as this all sounds, there is one place where insanity is truly a language…and that is, politics. Many politicians with a straight face look right into the camera and tell you that they are for the poor and that the evil rich have to pay more money while they stand in front of a room full of rich people who give globs of money to have the privilege to wine and dine with the influential. Hypocrisy at it’s finest!! Each year the amount raised by candidates of all persuasions grows and grows…while the words, “rich and poor” are bandied about like a ping pong ball.
So there it is…right in front of us every day…the dilemma of the “Schizophrenic Society.” Do I think all rich are bad people? Of course not. Do I think some people are destitute and need help? Unfortunately so. There are good rich, and there are bad poor. And vice-versa. The crime is committed by those who want to present the illusion that one group is responsible for all of the other’s problems. The middlemen who mix a wild concoction of love and hate. The responsibility falls to us as individuals to see the truth before our eyes, not what others want us to see. In a day and age where so many feel overwhelmed with the chores of daily life, a two minute sound byte can be quite influential.
It’s not a crime to be rich, if you do it by the rules. But it is a crime if you get there and give nothing back. Why so many want to be rich, but hate the rich, could fill a library. This mindset did not happen overnight…and it could take some time to understand…but it does exist…and this election season the blue and the red states will not come together until it is shown that some feel it is in their best interest to keep the state’s as far apart as possible.
This land was made for you and me,
love, Jennifer Avalon
Â© 2004 Jennifer Avalon