Wednesday, July 1, 2009

All Kids Are Liberals

Then half of them grow up.

...Now, for those of you still reading, let me tell you a story.

While eating dinner, yesterday, I thought of something to post on Twitter. I was a passing thought, but I thought it'd make a funny tweet:

"In preschool, my teacher said, "If you have two or more of something,
you should share." I've been a conservative ever since."

As I returned to my room, I realized how true that statement was. I was an exception to the rule. As a small child, I already held the basic belief on which my economic views are founded: people shouldn't be forced to share. That's something that stuck with me to present day.


The security of one's earnings and possessions.

The right to choose who to give to and how.

Yep, that's right. I was that kid who didn't share.

Say I have five of my favorite cookies - Oreos. Little (fictional) Joey wants one, so he asks for it. I say, "no." Now, Joey takes offense. He feels he's been wronged. I had five cookies, all to myself, and I wouldn't even let him have one!

My thinking was that the Oreos were mine. Joey didn't need them. So why should I give up something I have and want? I didn't owe it to him! Yeah, sure, it would be a kind gesture to give my friend something that would please him. But at the expense of my own pleasure? Give of myself to please him, just for the sake of making him happy...?

We ain't in love! It ain't his birthday!

Besides, I never, never, neeever asked for some of anyone else's food. Why would I? I had food. I wasn't gonna to go hungry. If they had my favorite cookies (Oreos - this has been established), that's good for them. I wasn't entitled to them, and I had no desire to short-change them for my own pleasure.

I had lunchroom arguments all the time, through elementary school and middle school (my mom packed good lunches), because I simply couldn't stand that people felt entitled to what I had, just because they wanted it.

Here's how one of those conversations would play out:

Joey: "Can I have a cookie?"

Me: "No..."

Joey: "Aw, come on, just

Me: "I said

"Why not?"

"'Cuz it's mine! You got food! Eat
your food!"

"Yeah, but you got

"Yeah, I do! And I don't wanna gi'm away!"



Eventually, I learned that it was better to give a little something away, even if they didn't need it, rather than to have your friends have a conniption and call you "greedy," "stingy," or "dukey-head." You look like a jerk in front of everybody.

But, I didn't have much trouble in high school. When I pulled out my Altoids tin and all my friends' hands came out, I shared.

You may be thinking, "Wouldn't you want people to share with you?"

Not really.

I've pretty much hated asking people for things, my whole life. Like sharing, I've grown better at it. I've learned to accept offers when I think they're genuine and to ask for help, when I need it - sometimes.

Just know that if I ask you for a mint, it's because I know my breath stinks, and I'm doing you a favor. If I ask you for something more significant, I probably really need it, or I can't come up with any other reasonable way to remedy my situation.


goodwyne said...

I'm 50 and most people I know my age don't have nearly so clear an understanding of private property rights or any other rights for that matter. Kudos to your parents or whomever taught you so well.

I'm enjoying your blog thanks to Twitter.

TOPolk said...

Solid post. I dig it.

If there was a like button on Twitter, I would have used it.

Beans Shadow said...

dude, just one Funyon, c'mmon, I'll give you a Famous Amos!

those were good times.

Lehnanne said...

I've got to say I've always thought I was more liberal than conservative but you put it in terms of cookies. I have to rethink my whole value system now. = )