Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cute Analogy

I found this  at Shoved to Them and have added my own comments (of course). 

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words, redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a
professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing?"

She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."

Her father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2. 0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter angrily fired back,

"That's a crazy idea. How would that be fair? I've worked really hard for my grades!
I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Here are my comments:
The analogy presents the premise that the 2 students represent two populations of the US - both having equal opportunity and advantages. 

And it explains patently that the ONLY reason Audrey is failing is her blatant disregard for responsibility.

Cute analogy but with even more misrepresentations than those just mentioned.

When applying the philosophy of this little story to our lives it really is interesting! 

We are instructed, quite clearly, by Jesus to love our brother as our self. He also said that we must be willing to give up everything to gain Heaven.  And, lest we forget, "Whatever you do for the least of your brothers, you do for me."

That whole, " I've worked hard for my ________  .     So, it is mine, mine, mine!"  just doesn't fly in Christian life.
Hey, a quick heads up here -- I do not have a solution so if you are looking for that do not even bother to read on.

I am not an advocate of trusting the government to redistribute the wealth. I already detest much of the what is done with the 33 to 40% of the income I contribute in taxes. 
But the philosophy of "what is mine is mine and you can't have it" . . . . is fundamentally flawed (if you are a Christian).
In the analogy I think a third person should play a role (a Libertarian, perhaps?) Wouldn't it would be appropriate to suggest that the 4.o student:
1st - Talk to her friend, who is failing, and point out the long term effect - maybe help elicit a change (at least plant a seed).
2nd - Offer to help in a way that could even be advantageous to both:
  • study groups,
  • study partnering (they need not study the same things)
3rd - Give her friend some resources:
  • resource suggestions for tutoring
  • maybe even, alcoholics anonymous!
So, the point is - sharing the GPA is not a fair solution especially for the long term. But personal action is a good response. Isn't that what we are called to do as Christians? We are called to take personal action to help others to the best of our ability. 
I would guess that in "Audrey's " case she may well laugh in the face of her friend with the 4.o trying to lend a hand.
But I think we should still offer aid before situations get beyond our capacity to practically go about fixing them  (especially by giving power to the government/Dean to redistribute other people's wealth/GPA).
And - situations do get bigger than our capacity to "make it all better". 

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Yea, you are a Libertarian alright! I think this calls for a heated debate over beers at The Pub. I am inviting Izzy so watch out!

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