Today’s prompt is about Class and I really had to check the meaning of the word. There are many times, we use words to an extent that we lose sight of the meaning.
I recall that a rapper once said “You can pay for school but you can’t buy class.”
This phrase kept ringing in my head. I just couldn’t shake it off after I saw the prompt for this week.
I choose to dwell on the social groupings of people based on their wealth, job and maybe sometimes fame.
Whether we like it or not the groupings exist, the upper class, the middle class, the low class and every other category there is. Forgive me, I don’t know so much about the groupings but in a capitalist country like mine, there are the extremely rich and the extremely poor, there is a great imbalance in the state of things. The middle class strive to go higher to stop walking with their legs on the streets of Lagos and own at least a car. They strive to get to the high class position and except for a miracle, they keep at it for the rest of their lives.
The ones at the bottom of the ladder bear the brunt of everything. They pay for the sky rocketing prices through their teeth. They wallow deeper into the mire. These ones really want their children in school, but they can’t afford even the public education provided by the government. Why? Public schools still pay a token. They still have to provide books and pen for the children. How do they sponsor education when they are still trying to feed. You find the children in this class hawking on the streets and even going as far as engaging in strenuous manual labour to make ends meet. In spite of the government laws against these things, they have no choice but to go and do these things. In the process, they fall into many perils such as kidnap, getting into prostitution, stealing and the likes.
The middle class are a bit better. The parents have a day job of about twelve hours, some even work at three jobs to manage and satisfy the needs of the family. They are constantly stressed and always living in the struggle. They jump buses and okada (commercial bikes) to get from place to place. Gradually, if there’s any luck as the children grow old enough to be independent the struggle reduces. By this time, they are getting older and cannot use youthful strength to try get daily bread. God help them if their kids get good jobs or establish business that can cater for both themselves and their parents.
Most people in high class more often have gotten wealth handed over to them. Business and trade secrets too. These ones continue to employ the middle class and some of the low class, of course you know what the low class job might be – cleaner, security guard etc.
The children from this high class have no knowledge of what the other classes go through, they have lived all their lives in wealth. Their minds cannot capture such life. It makes them unfeeling to the plight of others. They don’t even care sometimes to splash puddle on you driving furiously in your locale.
There some people who from middle class or low class rise to the high class, but it is surprising how fast they forget where they rose from. They get into a new class and blend, put on new attitudes and look down on the other classes.
In George Orwell book – Animal Farm, he said “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.”
In my country, I found this to be so true in different places. Even among the poor, there is oppression and I wonder how long we will continue this way.
I guess what that rapper said still holds true, “you can pay for school but you can’t buy class.”
We are not choosers, we can’t choose our parents, the class they belong to or even the country we belong to, however I believe we change the way our mind works, we can think of others when we make our plans, we can work on our negative oppressive attitude, we can love, we can give, we can respect each other, we still can make the world a better place.
©Deborah Glover, 2016
Until next time,
Enjoy the weekend,
Thanks Linda Hill for the great prompt. It surely helped my writing juices flow. Stay well my dear friend.