When we enter this world, no matter who we are or where we are born, we are dealt a deck of cards; that deck of cards we are receive at birth often will determine the life we lead years later. Granted there are always the outliers who break the mold but by and large the hand we are dealt will serve as a reminder in our adult years that life is not fair, equal or just.
Let’s see, in that deck of cards we are served upon arriving earth side, is a gender card, a race card, a nationality card, a religion card (now this one of the few cards that upon adulthood, we can choose to swap out or completely discard) and a socio-economic card. In a fair and just world, that deck of cards would be meaningless but the fact is that deck of cards matter very much.
Years later, we often have to make choices, yet the very choices we make in our lives is actually determined by a deck of cards that we were dealt that we had no choice in choosing. I mean, it’s not as if we can pick up our cards and swap out being a poor person for being a wealthy one. The issue of choice and how free we are to make choices came to mind this morning as I read the hubbub surrounding Ann Romney, the wife of the presumed GOP nominee for president. Seems Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist made a comment that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life, Ann came back out swinging taking to the social media airwaves that she has worked very hard raising 5 kids and that was the choice she made.
To be fair here Hilary Rosen was an ass, raising kids is hard work, regardless of if you are wiping your ass with $100 bills. I mean shit, 5 kids is 5 kids! That said, Ann Romney is being a tad disingenuous, let’s face it Ann married well, and that choice created an environment that allowed her to make the choices she has made. By all accounts or at least the good folks of Wikipedia, Ann wasn’t exactly born into a poor family, nope access to good private schools created the situation where she had access to others from pretty decent families.
In a society that likes to live in a fantasy world that we are all created equal and have access to the same opportunities, I am frankly getting tired of this farce. The reality is we do have choices but the choices we get to make are determined in many parts by factors that we don’t get to control.
In the days and weeks since Trayvon Martin was killed, some have stated that if only he hadn’t worn a hoodie he would still be alive. Come now… a child’s decision to wear a hoodie did not play a role in his death. Racism, bigotry, and bias are choices we as a society have made that decides to see certain people as perpetrators no matter what they are doing. Frankly, I think Trayvon could have been wearing a tuxedo and George Zimmerman still would have made the choice he made which was to kill a young man simply for the crime of walking down the street nervous because a strange man in a large car was following him.
In the end, we all make choices, we have too, its part of this experience we call living life but let’s not kid ourselves that we all have the ability to make the same choices because we don’t. Who and what we are shape the decisions and choices we make.