Friday, April 12, 2013

Luigi and Mario: A story of society

Two brothers lived next to each other and lived off the land. They grew cabbages and sold them at the market. For their own reasons they didnt share anything - they had their own equipment,  employed people to pick their cabbages when they needed to, and kept their own accounts. And they got along well.

Then one day Mario fell in a hole and could work no more. Luigi continued to work, and made sure that Mario's family was fed, his house maintained and his kids still got a good education. Because it was the right thing to do.

But this did not occur by magic. Luigi was giving some of his money to Mario. It meant that Luigi either worked harder or had less for himself.

Mario was a good guy. He didn't fight for more or complain that "the system" was shortchanging him. He knew that he was being given a hand directly by his brother, his neighbour.

And that was the thrust of Margaret Thatcher's speech where she was quoted as saying "no such thing as society". I'm pretty sure that if I was older at the time, or if I had lived in Britain, I'd have stronger feelings about Margaret Thatcher. I'm sure hearing many stories now, and it's not pretty.

Erk. I just dug out this article and it produced a physical response, dragging back childhood memories of how harsh and uncaring (to a child) some of those times felt.

But in this I need to remind myself. If I'm not growing my cabbages to sell and put food on my table,  then who's doing it for me? "Society" is just another name for my brother.

And perhaps those of us who dodged the bullet, didn't fall in the hole, and still have the means to earn a buck - well we might remember we have brothers, too.

1 comment:

  1. Very apt Cullen... we ought to be caring more for the disadvantaged in many ways...