It is the preponderance of opinion that the children of the rich having grown up in a comfortable and rich environment tend to have an imbalance perspective of life. It is therefore recommended that the children of the rich should be made to experience the lifestyle of the poor for them to have a balanced perspective of life and know how to give respect to their dignity of human person. People advocate that the children of the rich should use the poor’s’ mode of transportation, shop where they shop and even take an excursion to the schools the children of the poor go.
As sound as this may sound, I daresay, these steps do not give the child the child a balanced perspective to life. No matter how regular these experiences are they are not strong enough to socialise the child.
It is my thinking that children learn their perspectives of life from the examples of their parents. Examples are both in laid out in words and deed. Here is my thinking, children see their rich parents relate with those who are not as rich around them. How do their parents relate with their domestic workers, drivers, subordinates in the office, relations and the rest? How do the parents treat them? Do they respect their dignity of human person? Do they give them the respect their individuality deserves or they treat them as they think their status deserves. Are the parents so class conscious that they create unnecessary walls between themselves and those who work with them. I know parents, who do not allow their staff to enter into their living rooms for whatever reason. They have no explanation for this kind of position except for superiority complex and unhealthy class consciousness. They are many parents, who actively practice segregation in their relationship with others, who they consider to be below their level.
Children see their parents deal shabbily with relations, who are not as rich and seek their help one way or the other. The child witnessed the other day when an uncle came from the village to solicit for resources to pay his children school fees. The child saw his father complained bitterly, before he handed him a cheque for the uncle with a sternly warning, ‘give him this cheque and tell him I am not around. Did you hear me?’ Do not be surprised if your child disrespects this uncle tomorrow. It will amount to nothing but acute hypocrisy if you now begin to correct your child for disrespecting an uncle who is not as well to do as the parents.
Children from these kinds of parents are bound to have an imbalanced perspective of life. They are bound to relate with others who are not in their so-called class as lesser human beings. Their minds will be small too small to accommodate the greatness of diversity and the blessing thereof. No matter how much transportation they take the poor or how much they shop where they shop, it will not expose them to a balance worldview. Instead they will go there on an excursion to practice how to despise the poor, which they have learnt from their parents.
If a child must have a balanced and health perspective about life, it is the responsibility of the parents and custodians to teach them in words and in deeds the philosophy of fairness, equality, respect for dignity of human person. Such healthy orientation will not only protect the destiny of the children, it will open them up to a balanced perspective about life and make them unstoppable candidates of impact, influence, greatness, significance and inspiration.
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