Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Fighting your way out of privilege

While working away on the new online registration feature for the ISSS web site, I was watching our free DVD for the month, which I selected as Beyond the Sea. It’s an entertaining biopic, and it’s always good to watch Kevin Spacey. (He’s influential on the script, following Howard Stern’s mindset to “suspend disbelief”).

One line struck me as particularly true, for middle class parents. In moment with his son, Kevin Spacey (as Bobby Darin) says:

I had to fight my way out of the Bronx, but not nearly as hard as you’ll have to fight to get out of Beverly Hills.

We do have discussions like that around the dinner table, and I’m glad that my kids appreciate how well off their childhoods have been. We had one conversation was about how many of their friends will or won’t be going to university or college because they can or can’t afford it. We’re in a neighbourhood where there are still a lot of immigrant parents, and some are more motivated than others about pushing their kids to post-secondary education.

I’m still an admirer, as well as beneficiary of free university education (even at the graduate school level!) in Finland.

Living in a mixed income neighbourhood has helped (at least) to give our sons some perspective. Studying Mandarin in Beijing is a privilege that we expect will give them even more perspective.

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