Many years ago when I was at college, a tutor said to us, “You have started to mature when you realise life isn’t fair; you have fully matured when you accept that life isn’t fair.
The unfairness of life was driven home to me yesterday evening when watching television. There was yet another programme about a luxury hotel, then later an item on the news about how many homeless people there are in the UK. The contrast between the group which occupies the luxury hotel and those who are homeless couldn’t be greater, yet this is supposed to be one of the richest countries in the world. Why are some people unable to manage financially even if working full time and others, in an even worse position, are homeless and penniless?
The most expensive suite in the hotel costs £20.000 a night – more than some people earn in a year. Every detail is important for the people staying in the hotel. Their every wish is a command to the hotel staff. A sharp contrast to the cardboard box or shop doorway where some people will be spending the night. The lucky ones may find a place in a hostel.
Why are there such vast differences in how people live? Some people are born into wealth, others earn large salaries, some may win money or inherit it.
But what about the people at the other end of the scale? They can’t all be feckless and unwilling to work. In some cases family relationships have broken down, jobs have been lost, mental illness, redundancy and a myriad of other reasons result in their homelessness. Some would love to work, some could find a job if they had a permanent address.
Is it just the luck of the draw that someone can afford luxury while other people cannot afford the basic essentials to live? I have no statistics, but I would guess that the majority of people in this country are somewhere in the middle, even if some of them are just managing. Most of us have no desire to be in either of the above groups and are happy we are not in the homeless group and may dream of wealth, but are generally content with what we have.
Being wealthy is not necessarily the roadway to happiness, but lack of money for life’s basic essentials almost inevitably leads to misery.
I am sure, that like the story of the talents in the Bible, if all the money in the country was divided equally, some people would rush out and spend it all, some would keep it and do nothing with it, some would invest it or start up a business and hope to make even more money. Society would be much the same as it is today. Some people would be rich and others poor.
I am aware that many of the people staying in the hotel were foreign as were many of the staff serving them.