Economic disparity played out by school children in 3 minutes or less:
Sarah, our minister for children and youth, called the Sunday school children to the front of the church. She held in her hand a wad of monopoly money with bills of different denominations. After the children sat down, Sarah distributed to each one a single bill. She had no prescribed distribution method, so the kids received, arbitrarily, $1.00, $20.00 or $100.00.
The children who received $1.00 looked dejectedly at their money. The kids who got $100.00 jumped around and waved it in the air. The ones that received $20.00 didn’t do much of anything.
Sarah said, “Some of you only have $1.00. What can you buy with $1.00?” Everyone agreed that a few candies would be about all that would cover. Then she said, “Some of you have $100.00. What can you buy with $100.00?” Well, the kids could buy games, or toys, or LOTS of candy with $100.00.
Then Sarah said, “It’s kind of sad that some of you could only buy a few little things, while some of you could buy lots of things. What would you think if those of you with more money shared with those with less?”
The faces of the $1.00 kids brightened. They thought that was a pretty good idea. After all, they hadn’t done anything to deserve this misfortune. They just happened to be sitting in the wrong place.
The ones with $20.00 didn’t know what to think. They weren’t sure if they would be asked to share some of their money, or if they would be on the receiving end. They withheld judgment.
Some of the children with $100.00 looked down at their bill and then over at the kids with $1.00. If pressed, they could be persuaded to share. After all, they hadn’t done anything to earn this good fortune. They just happened to be sitting in the right place.
Some of the kids with $100.00 clutched their money to their chest as if to say, “It’s mine. I got it fair and square and I’m not sharing.”
Economic disparity played out by school children in 3 minutes or less.