Friday, July 06, 2012

People like us

Today a relative told us about the double jogging stroller another mom had given her. It has built-in iPod speakers. We laughed at the extravagance. But in her wealthy exurb neighborhood, this is the kind of thing lots of people own.

It made me think about who we know. I thought about B. Morrison's memoir Innocent, which describes her years as a welfare mother in a poorer neighborhood of Massachusetts. She writes of how disheartening it was to know only other people without resources, people struggling to improve their lives, people who had given up the struggle.

We tend to know people like ourselves. People with double jogging strollers with iPod speakers know other such people, and welfare mothers know other welfare mothers. When we help only our peers, rich people stay rich and poor ones stay poor.

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