Occasionally, I come across interesting threads and questions that people put online. A few days ago, a (White Male) had posted a thought and asked for advice.
In his post, he said something along the lines of “It’s Saturday morning and I’m in my office. My two teenage kids are upstairs, playing on their computers and practicing their programming skills. I see the gardener and his son arrive to tend our lawns. Here’s my worry. I worry that my kids will grow up and go into I.T., and talk about how hard they’ve worked to get there–and I agree on all of that, but my concern is that they’ll never understand the privilege they had to spend their Saturdays in their rooms, working on their skills, instead of working all day.”
And I thought it was a fair question. I also thought there were some interesting assumptions made…(of course, in the context of the question–will my children understand their privilege?–I would agree that the dad has to focus on certain points to the exclusion of others)…but what I wondered was if the landscaping son had an interest in his dad’s business. Was he being asked to work because family helps with the heavy lifting or was he looking to one day take over the business and grow it, and was using his Saturdays to get a sense of the company and its clients?
I also wondered about the comparison–one child gets the entire day with his father. The other children will be upstairs in their rooms on a computer. Is one situation considered luckier than the other?
Which is all to say that it had me thinking about the value and meaning we put into situations, how we view and filter experiences, and the flexibility of language (i.e., we create meaning in the words–some would argue the child who gets time with their parent is the luckier/more “privileged” one).
It’s all things I think about when I’m writing character and thinking about situations for said characters to experience, and in the end, great food for both thought and creation.