Monday, January 14, 2013

Saturn's Rings

In ancients days, in the far corners of the world today, and in the horoscopes section of 17 magazine,  the planets were and are thought to impact one’s fate. In our case, we started of 2013 under the influence of Saturn’s rings.
More absorbing to us than the planet Saturn though , was our car, the 2002 Saturn L200. It broke down as we were pulling out of Justin’s driveway on our way to California. Anxious to get to California for Christmas, we left it in Mesa, borrowed Justin’s Dads’ car and went on our way. When we got back, our lives were consumed with getting the car in working order. Last week, Justin spent several days in Mesa trying to nurse the car back to health but it was all for naught. One of the rings inside one of the pistons is broken( or something like that ), a job which would cost much more than the car is worth to repair. Alas, the Saturn rings have left it on its last leg and we are in the market for a cheap used car that will get us where were going.
As this little family crisis consumed us, I can’t help but think about how lucky Justin and I are to have what we have. But for the whim of fate, the car breaking down would have meant some very bad things for Justin and I. At the very least, we would have had to take out some kind of loan and  and dug even deeper the neat little hole of debt we are currently standing in. Mind you, our debt is minimal considering that so far we’ve got a degree each, and that situation too is largely the product of luck or fate. You see, Justin and I both were born into pretty cush situations. We’re white*, American citizens with married, hard working parents. We are living with Justin’s grandma without a chunk of money going to rent each month. We had the chance to go to a BYU school and pay low tuition fees. Even if we fail, we’ve got a huge safety net to bounce us once and lower us harmlessly back onto solid ground. In the very worst of situations we would simply have to move in with my parents and start from scratch . Still a warm bed, food , and fun no matter how you slice it.
How many people in the world have that luxury? Not many . Bordieu* makes some interesting suggestions about the nature of success based on what fate you're born with. His term "symbolic violence" refers to his observation that kids with culturally astute parents and money backing them tend to succeed, while success is much farther out of reach for those without such advantages. He further discusses how despite these obvious advantages we tell the little man that if he would just try or work harder that he could be where we are.
I think it’s really important to be realistic about our circumstances, and acknowledge the advantages that we do have. With that in mind I am committing myself to the following :
Be thankful for what you’re blessed with. Then, realize that the people around you might not have those advantages, and might not have as much say in their success as you think. Once you’ve come to terms with that, it’s time to do something about it. First and foremost do this; Consider a person or a people’s advantages and disadvantages before you make a judgement about their work ethic. Secondly, be grateful for the fate you were born with. Third, seek to help those who are less advantaged in a personal, and day-to-day kind of way.

* I point out that we are white because I wish to acknowledge the fact that there is a cultural advantage for us there, in the United States. I am in no way stating that my skin color should merit advantages, but simply observing that it does.
* To read about Language and Symbolic power according to Pierre Bordieu click here, then click download if you dare.

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I am a videographer located in Goodyear, Arizona. Visit my site to check out my best work and the Stories Told blog.