Every once in a while I get into these ridiculous conversations with people who tend to ramble on with their ignorant comments about poor people. You know the kind of comments. Why don’t they just get a job? They are lazy. They don’t contribute to society. They are a drain on society. Similar comments we’d hear towards basically anyone who doesn’t fit into our idealized worldview of the morally good life. Most of these comments have to do with them being lazy, not contributing and being a drain or freeloading.
I like to at least attempt to give this ignorance some credit if I can, or try to understand it more so I don’t end up just judging them like they have judged everyone else. At first glance their comments come across as pretentious, entitled and selfish. How can they honestly think that they earned what they have? Don’t they know they were born into a life of privilege and that these people never had the same opportunities? Their entitlement is sickening. I think for the most part these comments are all those things. But there is always something that drives them, there is always something underlying ignorance and entitlement.
Then I thought, you know what, if I was in their shoes, I’d probably be just as entitled and annoyed. I’m trying to pretend I’m 50 years old. If I spent 9-5, five days a week, for forty years of my life working for a corporation that only gave $120,000 a year (or much less), I’d be extremely pissed off that I wasted my entire life for something I cared absolutely nothing about. To look back on my life and realize that I gave it all up for increased share prices of a corporation that just moved some numbers into my bank account would make me extremely annoyed and jealous at poor people. Poor people didn’t make the same mistakes that I did. They just sat around and chose the lazy option – and look they are in the same place that I am in now. They are eating, sleeping, dying, breathing, laughing, talking and shitting. I bought into the lie that I needed to contribute to do the right thing and here I am in the exact same place as the people that refused to buy into the lie and rather just did nothing. I can’t believe I wasted my life. You mean I could have done nothing and been happier and still alive? Nah, I won’t believe that, rather I’ll just be pissed that these people didn’t make the same poor decisions as me and go on pretending like my life is perfect and beautiful and everyone who didn’t make these decisions are the crazy ones.
So now that I look at it. I think the people that spout off their ignorance about poor folks and needing to pull themselves up by their bootstraps are just jealous. They are jealous because it turns out you can still be a human and not have sold your entire life to the soul-robbing cycle of a job that perpetuates a system of nothingness. Poor rich people, wasting their lives. It really must be impossible for rich people to experience the Kingdom of God.