Many people have participated in a physical rendering of financial elitism. The group starts out standing in a line. They take steps forward or backward, depending upon the instructions. The goal is to show the members of the group who have had the most advantages. Advantages directly translate into financial opportunity. (Examples: If you have a trust fund in your name, take three steps forward. If you went into debt to pay for college, take two steps back.) Alas, every time that I have participated in this type of display I end up in the end of the group. It’s a lonely place and the reaction is pity, concern or scorn from the other members of the group. Thus, I have created an alternative exercise.
It will show that being limited income gives you special skills that the financially secure may not develop. NOTE: The person announcing the list should always state that this demonstration is not meant to shame anyone. It is a highly emotional experience. It is okay for people to internally step forward or backward and even walk off to stand on the sidelines. No one is forced to participate.
IMA’S POOR PRIVILEGES:
If you wore hand-me-downs from relatives (not for fashion), take two steps forward.
If you have never received heat-share, take one step back.
If you have eaten food past the expiration date and risk stomach upset, take a step forward.
If you have darned or worn darned socks, take one step forward.
If you have never used public transportation, take three steps back.
If you know how to pick tiny bits of meat off every bone, take a step forward
If you have worn shoes with holes on the bottom, take two steps forward.
If you don’t take physical risks because you are afraid of the cost of the medical office or Emergency Room visit deductible or medications, take two steps forward.
If you have worn socks darned two times, take two steps forward.
If you live “green” with your home temperature below 65 degrees in the winter to save on the cost of heating bills, take two steps forward.
If you have worn clothes with patches for fashion, take two steps back.
If you have a garden for food, take two steps forward.
If you use the public library as your book and video source, take three steps forward.
If you have never been to a food-shelf as a recipient, take one step back.
If your primary source for clothing is the thrift store, take two steps forward.
If you have received government food commodities, take three steps forward.
If you don’t worry about retirement because you know that you will be working until you die, take three steps forward.
If your kids have received reduced or free meals at school, take a step forward for each child.
If you don’t wash clothes until they are dirty or smelly, take two steps forward.
If you share leftover garden produce with the local food-shelf, take three steps forward.
My score is +24 steps, what is yours? Please post in the comments section.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved