Dear Soft Hearted Loves,
Did anyone watch the series, Maid, on Netflix? Did you see the part where the mom gets access to a preferred school for her daughter and then her daughter’s educator assumes the daughter wants icecream like all the other children? This assumption led the educator to ask mom for $6 for an icecream to compensate for the educator spending that money on the child’s icecream to so called be included with her peers. If you remember this scene or can understand the assumptions we make you’ll know what I’m talking about with the heart break of socioeconomic status related slights or bullying.
Do I think the educator in this film meant to marginalize this family? No. But I do believe those of us who earn a living wage so quickly forget or never learned that there are so many folx out there that are struggling financially. I’m not just talking about the first few images that come to mind when you think of financial insecurity (not enough food, being unhoused, or feeling cold on the street). A child may have enough for a pair of nice sneakers, but may not be able to participate in a school activity dependent on outside funds. Another child may be housed, but not have enough food. Another child may have hand me downs that their peers bully them about. There are many forms of bullying related to someone being from a different socioeconomic status. Children may endure verbal, physical, or emotional slights or isolation from peers due to perceived differences in financial resource.
These traumas can elicit long-lasting wounds. I believe that as adults, whether we have children in our close circle or not, we can evaluate our relationship with money. Are there ways we other due to financial differences? Do we wish to contribute to communities more? How much is consumerism a part of our life? Looking within can change our behaviors and how these trickle out into society and into the perceptions of children. No more othering due to differences in money background needs to happen for children. This can stop now if we start looking at our own stuff.