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Who's on first?

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

Recently, I flew on a flight from Auckland to Sydney. One way flights can be more expensive. So when it came time to fly this time, it was just $80 more to fly business class. It seemed a no brainer. I paid a bit extra to go business class.

I noticed certain things for my extra few dollars. Lines were practically non existent. There was a dedicated line at the check in gate, a dedicated security line, and a special line at the departure gate. We got on the plane as one of the first passengers and got off the plane as one of the first passengers. There was extra food choices, lots of leg room, and many other things that made us feel very special.

Such an experience was very rare for me. I rode business class one time on frequent flyer points. I also got to ride business class on a charter airline another time (departing Toronto once) because economy was full. I have had to wait in long lines, I have sat in seats with no leg room, I have flown on airlines where I felt that I was more like cattle than human. It bothers me that just because someone has paid extra for their seats on an airplane that their level of service that they receive is so much better than most of the people on the plane. It bothers me that some people just naturally assume that they should go first because they are rich. Yes I have enjoyed the experience a couple of times, but it is not right.

When we are young, we are taught to take turns. Everyone is supposed to be given a fair shot. We are taught to wait in line. We are taught to share. Children are taught not to judge. We can't always be first. Sometimes we have to wait and that is ok.

But somehow when we get older, we are taught that certain people get preferential treatment. I remember going to see Bette Midler in concert once. She looked at the people sitting in the front row of her concert and said, "And welcome to the American Express Gold club members." Adults don't wait in line as children do, we let the privileged ones go first.

Today there was a news story about many people in the US getting arrested. Two well known celebrities were arrested: Felicity Hoffman, the star of Desperate Housewives, and Lori Laughlin, the star of Full House. Their crime, bribing college officials in order that their children might be accepted into prestigious schools. They didn't feel that their children should have to go through the regular channels to apply and get accepted into the school. The people arrested felt their money and influence should be enough to get their children into the schools. Who cares about their academic qualifications and extra curricular activities? Why worry about this when you can buy a college admissions official a new Mercedes.

Again I say, we need to go back to the things that we learned as children. Everyone deserves a fair chance. Every one should get in based on the same qualifications as everyone else. No one should be able to buy their way in. Blessings.

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