Monday, 25 October 2010

Marie Antoinette lives in all of us.

I think it happens to most of us, well those of us who live a 'privileged life'. At least once in a lifetime there's a moment in which, if you're humble enough, you'll realise the everyday assumptions you make and be grateful for what you've got.
I'll give two examples:

A family friend went to complain at ECG after tehy had turned off the electricity one too many times. Very upset, he explained to them "all my meat, fish and chicken are spoiling due to the lights off!".
To which the ECG man responded " Ey, whilst some of us are struggling to find food to eat, you are complaining about a freezer overflowing with meat!".
Needless to say, he walked away feeling a bit ashamed about his 'frivolous' complaint.

The 2nd example is my own (and I'm still embarrassed by it). Two years ago when we went to Takoradi, just around Cape Coast we first saw a funeral by the roadside, then for several hundred meters afterwards we saw many people in funeral clothes walking towards the funeral. After a while, completely confused, I asked Virgo, "Why did they park so far away from the funeral???".
Virgo, turned to me quite horrified (probably picturing Marie Antoinette in front of him in all her pompidouesqueness) before he answered, "they don't have cars, they're walking from their homes!".

Never before or after has it been so clear to me what a comfortable life I lead. I hope I never have such a moment again as it means I would have lost touch, then again I am grateful for it as it was a reality check and gave me a lot of giggles.

What's your worst Marie Antoinette* moment?

*Marie Antoinette's cry of, "Let them eat cake!" was the straw that broke the camel's back during the French Revolution. The story goes that Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was informed that her subjects were starving because they had no bread. She was so pampered and out of touch with the reality of life for the poor that she responded, "Let them eat cake," which is what she would have done if she were out of bread. Marie Antoinette was convicted of treason and executed in 1793, months after her husband, King Louis XVI, had suffered the same fate.
Marie Antoinette explanation borrowed from here


Lady Jaye said...

Erm... in the case of ECG the dude at ECG was clearly in the wrong. I am assuming the guy with all the meat and fish in his freezer worked hard to get his money by LEGITMATE means no? Then it is no one's business if he has 10 freezer loads of meat and fish, and he has nothing to be ashamed of. ECG is paid to provide a service, whether or not people are struggling. To fail in the service and then to berate someone for complaining about failed service is rude and unprofessional.

Raine said...

Ditto @ Lady Jayne.

As for my duh moments, well they were so stupid that I'd rather not say :p

Maya Mame said...

You are very right Lady Jaye, but that shows you the common mentality in Ghana. Instead of focusing on the problem, the ECG guy will guilt trip him over all that he has.

Raine, do share! I don't want to be the only one... :)

[ ] dUke [ ] said...

The one thing Oprah said once and has stuck with me ever since is never to apologize or feel sorry for having a lot.

The man who complained about his rotting meat had a legitimate complaint. The ECG is robbing us blind and he was in his right to lodge a complaint; what business is it of his is the financial situation of the ECG official. If the well to do carried this kind of guilt around they would join the less fortunate ones they were so worried about.

If you have it enjoy it; if you feel you have to spread the love around because of some surplus do so but don't feel compelled out of some stupid guilt to do it just to appease the common man on the street.


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