My mind continues to ponder on philosophical ideas of late. My most recent fascination is the idea that there are several sectors of people in this world, and we very rarely wander outside the one in which we were born. For the most part, I am referring to economic spheres, though cultural ones are applicable, too. I must explain this somewhat confusing idea that has erupted from my brain. Let's say that you were born in a city with parents that either did not work or had jobs that paid very little. You are more likely to grow-up and be satisfied with a low paying job and a lower standard of living than someone who grew-up in the upper middle class suburbs. As a person who was expected to not only go to college but even go on to further study from a very young age (even though only one of my parents even received an undergraduate degree), my idea of taking a crappy job is one way above the standards of most. I currently work at Verizon Wireless as a greeter. I consider this an incredibly bad job, not only because of the less than adequate pay to cover my bills, but also because it is a job that requires no skills and therefore bores me to death! Even one of my own managers has told me that I really need to go and do something with my life. Yet, this job would be a dream come true for so many people who just need regular pay.
I was reminded of my realization of never being satisfied with some lines of work when watching a film with people working hot dog stands. I would never think that working as a hot dog vendor was a good enough occupation unless I was sixteen years old and I just needed money for a gas and a movie on the weekends. The thought that those people not only are supporting themselves on pay from a hot dog vending business, but are also probably supporting a family, is an astronomical thought. Here I am making $11.5/hr in an air conditioned building where I have to wear business attire, but I still can't really cover all of my bills.
The change from one sector to the other is of course not impossible. Social mobility is after all what democracy and this country is all about. I do feel that the mobility up is one that is much fuller than that of the downward cycle. This does not mean that you are financially stable in that new (or old) sector, just that you refuse to accept any other life. I am in that very situation. I refuse to leave the sector in which I was born, middle to upper class. My lifestyle and preferences reflect how I have been spoiled for most of my life and continue to try to give myself these same niceties.
In which sector do you reside? Will you ever attempt to leave it? In which direction? Is one more admirable than another?
I have recently been having some philosophical mental discussions involving the sacrifices that I would be willing to make in specific situations. Most of the scenarios include risking or sacrificing my own life for another. I am not sure if everyone feels the same, though I somewhat assume so. I feel that I would be willing to give my life for another person. I do not mean that I would give my own life just to save my best friend, husband, brother, or child, but anyone.
This begs the question, "what about people who have done evil in their lives?" In my mind, the sins they have committed in their life previous to this moment of my self-sacrifice only make them more in need of such a gift. Those persons who would do the same for you or who have made similar sacrifices in their own lives do not deserve this ultimate gift any less. This gift could just change the lives of some more drastically than others. Perhaps the touch of un-selfish kindness could lead evil people to see that they should lead better lives.
But again we must question ourselves about the amount of life actually left for that person. Should a child who has his or her life fully ahead of them be easier to make this sacrifice for than someone older than yourself? I think that if there was the choice between saving the child or an older person, I would choose the child. However, if I was presented with the situation of choosing my own life or someone nearer to the end of their lives, I still think that I would make that sacrifice. All of the scenarios are just hypothetical, and no one will know what they will really do in such a situation until they actually encounter it. I truly hope that I will fulfill my predictions of my own reactions should one of these situations arise in my life.
I also have been asking myself about the sacrifices I would make for my own child, and would I ever give him or her up. First, I would sacrifice anything and everything of myself for my child. Does this include giving them up? I am not sure. There are definitely situations where giving up a child is too easy of an answer, but there are others where it is definitely the best option for the child. The latter really falls under a different category for me; some people should never reproduce. I know that such an opinion seems overly harsh and judgemental, but I truly believe in its significance. Those who are physically or mentally inept and cannot care for their child properly, should not have children. As humans we have increased our life expectancy through techonology. Along with this, we have ruled out the laws of nature according to Darwin and other evolutionary theorists. As humans we no longer have to adapt to survive; technology allows us to survive when nature would not. If I knew that I had a debilitating disease that I could pass on to my children that would seriously effect their lives, I hope that I would come to terms with the fact that I should not create such a life. I know that God chooses for life to happen, but our free will is also at play.
What sacrifices would you be willing to make for your child? your spouse? a stranger?