Friday, January 26, 2007

Class Consciousness

The Dolls

Overheard from outside the daughters' door: a tense moment between the dolls...

"I'm porcelain. You're just plastic."

Oh, how we do compare ourselves. Perhaps not always a bad thing. But surely not always a good thing either.

The Dolls photo (plastic left, porcelain right), by L.L. Barkat

Oh, and Speaking of Plastic


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing does have good and bad sides. I think admiring character traits is good while comparing looks may not be as good. God all made us unique and some people think that getting plastic surgery will make everything better. It's whats in the heart that makes you beautiful.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

In the now famous words of theologian and scholar Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"

11:34 AM  
Blogger Shammickite said...

Beauty is in the eye of the behoder.... someone famous probably said that, I have no idea who.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

I'm just laughing about your daughter's play. That is something I would expect to hear from my daughter's room.

The real question is whether the porcelain doll even had an accurate view of herself. Sure, it was rude to point out the social stratification that separated her from the plastic doll. But is it worse to be plastic, rather than porcelain? Just because your purchase price is lower, are you worth less?

(Speaking of purchase prices, why don't editors have a higher purchase price?)

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing ourselves to others usually boils down to pride - "You're JUST plastic". That is never a good thing!
Thanks for this thoughful post.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Well, the plastic one *is* prettier....

2:52 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Stephanie... sounds like what God told the prophet Samuel, when he was out choosing a new king!

Craver... theologian and scholar? Did I miss something? Anyway, I like the sentiment, but I wonder what it truly is that makes us compare and judge. Exactly what benefit do we receive, or believe we receive from such activity?

ExS... maybe it was Shakespeare? Where are the English scholars when we need them?

Mark... kids are so funny, aren't they? Yet, I marvel at how they communicate value judgments so early on. And, hey, editors are worth a lot more than their purchase price!

For now... I wonder if our pride makes any sense in the scheme of things. To go back to Mark's comment, does it reflect an accurate view of ourselves?

Andrea... all right now, I see we're going to start taking sides. I guess this is how culture wars begin?

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eugene Peterson's take on 2 Cor. 10:12 -- "We're not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they're our superiors. We wouldn't dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point."

4:07 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Charity, I like the end of that... "they quite miss the point." It raises the question... what is the point?

4:22 PM  
Blogger Reyes-Chow said...

Don't even make my girls bust out there "American Girl" dolls ;-) We are having Addy versus Kaya battles. Hey at least brown babies chose brown babies . . . for those without daughters, I apologize because you have not idea what the heck I am talking about.

6:31 PM  
Blogger christianne said...

What's all this about editors and their purchase prices? I had no idea I had a price upon my head... :)

LL, you asked what is the point. I think the point is for each of us to realize our truest identity --not false humility or brazen pride, but true humility and appropriate pride. This means not thinking ourselves nothing (we sure aren't nothing in His eyes!) but not elevating ourselves above others or to the place of God.

This takes a lifetime to learn, I'm sure. When we get it, to bring things full circle in this group's recent conversation, is probably when we're finally mature.

9:20 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

BRC... the Battle of the American Girls. Sounds like a movie or something!

Christianne... I like how you pulled this together, revisiting the Maturity post. And now I know whether or not I'm mature. (We'll keep that as my little secret, except of course to the entire world who deals with me everyday!)

I do suppose that some of us get one side of that balance sooner than we get the other (the nothing versus elevating balance).... okay, and now I'm thinking out loud... is it a balance... can we really have one side without the other? Or are they really sides of the same coin? (Mixing my metaphors, I know.)

9:37 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Great photo and great post. So short yet so powerfully to the point!

It is so tragic that most African American children who were tested recently, thought the good/pretty doll was the white one (over the black one), and the bad doll was the black one.

Of course we could ask the question, is that a good question to ask children? They may think they have to choose between the two. The age of the children, as I saw it on TV, would indicate to me that they would act right from their heart, on such a question (though some may have been older, so that their experience and thoughts may have complicated the issue more, for them).

Good point! Each of us is a special gift from God.

2:03 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

i have to disagree with andrea...the brown doll is much prettier...much more natural and not "made up". oh...but i'm contributing to the comparing..oops! :)

4:00 PM  
Blogger christianne said...

Hm. I don't think it's like a scale with two sides to balance it and deposits on each side. I think it's more like a fulcrum and we are in ONE place upon it -- either thinking ourselves too lowly or thinking ourselves too highly. We might jump back and forth, but we can't be on both sides at once.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

All I can say is "well said" to all your comments about L.L's post.

Have a great week L.L!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very observant kid.

6:38 PM  

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