observations on life

Summer Camp, for ages 7-15, $3,175.00

I recently had a conversation with a kid about going to camp.  He was looking forward to going to camp in a week or so, the same camp he’s gone to every summer for 5 or 6 years.  It’s an expensive sleep-away camp where there’s swimming and archery and hiking and wood crafts, golf, canoeing, lacrosse, rifle, rock climbing, snorkeling, soccer, tennis, track, wrestling, baseball, and basketball, at a cost of $3, 175.00 for each kid (I looked on their website).  This child will go with his brother, so, $6,350 to send two kids to summer camp.  Every summer.  I think I can say with no doubt whatsoever that this particular child would literally not be caught dead at a camp that regular kids could afford to go to.

Why?  What would happen to your kid if he went to a camp where there are kids who aren’t rich?  Would he be corrupted?  Unsafe?  Would his pride be wounded?  Would YOUR pride be wounded?  Would you be ashamed to tell your friends?  Would he?

Does anybody know how people get their sense of entitlement without realizing that feeling entitled, by definition, means they believe themselves to be better than other people?  And they pass this belief along to their children, who become entitled, spoiled snobs, and on and on?  How can you think you DESERVE to have everything you want, whenever you want it, without figuring out that that means if other people can’t have everything they want, that you believe yourself to be superior to them?

I can be a snob.  About, for instance, cake.  I make great cake, so most other cake doesn’t taste as good to me as mine does.  So yes, I feel superior to mediocre cake.  And I feel superior to Lutheran coffee.  And also pork rinds, country music, paintings on velvet, and inflatable Christmas lawn ornaments.

And there are some people that I feel superior to–usually people I actually know or that I’ve at least met–who have proven to me that they are obnoxious/cruel/remarkably stupid/arrogant  . . . you get the idea.  And since I’m writing this, I guess I feel superior to those who think they’re superior to me, or to anybody, who doesn’t live up to their notion of being “rich enough,”  and that their kids should be shielded from these inferiors at all costs.   And those are the ones who really piss me off.

I’m smart.  I have some talents.  I’m not bad looking.  I’m not fat.  I have more than my share share of compassion, which causes me great pain.  I try to do the right thing.  I try to be kind to people, though I don’t always succeed.  And knowing that there are people who turn up their noses at me, and others who are like me, because we don’t have an “adequate” amount of money, makes me not only feel superior to them, but makes me despise them.

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