Wednesday 8 May 2024

Games by Peter Lingard, milk

I hate this place! 

There are cliques based on income and address.  There is violence everywhere: overt and covert violence.  I even caught myself becoming involved in the one-upmanship race because my father works for a mobile telephone company and I get the newest models before anyone else.  What a thing to be known for, having the latest phone.  The smart, the truly smart, are ostracised because being smart is not a race most can compete in.  Instead, they race to be the prettiest, the most outrageous, have the richest parents.  Be the top at something, no matter what value the position holds.  Status, once obtained, can expand its value by the acquisition of foolish, fleeting friends – those who will become someone else’s friend once you are toppled from your precarious summit.  I feel smug because I’ll never lose my place at the top the best phone clique, but my smugness shames me.  Do the prettiest feel the shame of knowing they have naturally excelled at something without worth?  Do the bullies feel a measure of shame before they close their eyes at night?  Do those enriched by their parents’ money feel a shame for achieving status earned solely by someone else?  Thankfully, my father has won a promotion and we are moving to another city.  I swear, doubly swear, not to play these stupid games at my new primary school.

About the author

Peter Lingard, born a Brit, served in the Royal Marines, was an accountant, a barman and a farm worker. He once lived in the US where he owned a freight forwarding business. An Aussie now because the sun frequently shines and the natives communicate in English. 

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