Variation on the Word Sleep

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Human Nature and Pinatas

Yesterday I watched kids bashing a piñata at the library. The moment the piñata broke and fell to the ground there was a sudden surge of kids towards it – screaming, biting, kicking, in an effort to get at the candy.These are not suburban kids with their parents standing over them: “Share! Be polite!” These are unprotected kids, without that shell of safety: no fences, no driveways, and no parents around.
It shows as the pile slowly subsides leaving scraps of red paper and crushed candy.Three kids are crying, and there is one black eye. Walking away we see one of the kids dancing around, his shirt full of candy.“It’s mine, it’s mine.”Half-heartedly I ask him if he’s going to share, but I know the answer is no.“I’m rich I’m rich, famous rich.”That’s the goal I guess famous rich, but this kid is seeing the problem of being “famous rich”. The moment he goes near any of the other kids he’s going to lose his candy. So here he is lots of candy, but no one to eat it with, and no one to gloat over it to – the isolating effect of wealth.
Today I’m wondering if he learned his lesson. He probably danced too close to the other kids in his effort to show off his haul. It doesn’t matter how much candy you have if you can’t show it off to the others, and once the others catch wind of your greed justice, or the childhood equivalent is swift to arrive. I’m sure he lost all his candy, gained a few bruises, made a few enemies, and still didn’t learn his lesson. That’s humanity though.


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