The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners
or good manners or any other particular sort of manners,
but having the same manner for all human souls:
in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven,
where there are no third-class carriages,
and one soul is as good as another.

— George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion

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The Higgins Treatment

I ask you, what am I?
I’m one of the undeserving poor: that’s what I am.
Think of what that means to a man.
It means that he’s up agen middle class morality all the time.
If there’s anything going, and I put in for a bit of it, it’s always the same story:
“You’re undeserving; so you can’t have it.”
But my needs is as great as the most deserving widow’s that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband.
I don’t need less than a deserving man: I need more.
I don’t eat less hearty than him: I need more.
I want cheerfulness and a song and a band when I feel low.
I want a bit of amusement, cause I am a thinking man.
I want cheerfulness and a song and a band when I feel low.
Well, they charge me just the same as they charge the deserving.
What is middle class morality? Just an excuse for never giving me anything.
— George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion

This short speech from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion struck a random thought from me. The term, “undeserving poor”, in particular. This got me thinking…

Undeserving poor are the “middle class” in developing countries. Being a middle class citizen in a third world or developing country today means just barely getting above ground away from poverty, but the gap towards being well-off still feels like aiming for the moon.

One is not really that rich to afford most of the comforts and luxuries of life but also not poor enough to deserve charity and help or even sympathy (at the least) to be deserving of small comforts.

And come to think of it, middle class citizens are the more law-abiding and moral of all the class structure. They pay their taxes on time and go about their own business to succeed whilst trying to maintain peace with their fellow and supporting the nation. They never complain as publicly and as often as the “deserving poor” with all their protests and sometimes over-the-top demands. But just like the deserving poor, the undeserving are also poor — with the same needs and wants as the deserving.

The middle class work too hard to be able to have barely enough of what the deserving poor needs but it would seem too much if they would start to want something more that only the rich can afford. The latter, I think, is what Shaw means by “middle class morality”. And I agree that it can be just an excuse to not give the middle class anything. It’s not their fault they are not poor enough to deserve charity and it’s not their luck to be able to give them either.

An undeserving poor is undeserving. They are. But once in a while, it is reasonable to experience the other side of life — to rest, to breath, to feast, to travel, to experience art and culture, and to enjoy the unreasonably-priced life.

Undeserving Poor

Somebody crowd me with love
Somebody force me to care
Somebody let me come through
I’ll always be there
As frightened as you to help us survive
Being alive, being alive.

— Company

Now I can say I have a favorite song. And this is it — Being Alive from Company. :’)

Somebody crowd …

Sometimes I just don’t get it. Life.
Why do some of us have to work so hard
for the things we believe and others don’t?
Why do some of us care so much?
Why are some of us selfish by nature
and some of us are selfish to survive?

– Struck By Lightning, 2012

This is so spot on.

This applies not only for high school life (as where the movie was set) but to life in its entirety.

I would go on every day with these questions. And every day I would always be in a dilemma. Should I care too much when I see others don’t? It makes everything so frustrating. I mean, why do others just live their day to day just to get by when life is so full of possibilities and chances to make every day and every thing they do they’re best?

I don’t mean that everyone should be hard on themselves to succeed or whatever. At least fight for what they believe in with the passion it requires and not just take in or give in to whatever’s handed out to them. But it is hard to do this when others will make you feel that you’re too obsessive, far-reaching and weird. Yes, weird. Weird for caring so much. Wanting so bad to make things right and better.

Shouldn’t we be doing our best and living to the fullest? For this, I admire the people that when they we choose to do something, they do it good and give it they’re all. I hope we can all be like this and I wish others will have the same level of appreciation to give us the space and respect to do it.

Here’s to a better world! Cheers!

Side Note: Chris Colfer star and wrote Struck By Lightning. I am in awe. He is one amazing person. I’m now a huge fan.

Struck