Toronto the Good, Part 5 – Socio-economic Diversity
Though I’ve complained about my neighbourhood on occasion, I do love it for its diversity and I think it’s important that Cakes lives somewhere where she’ll meet people of varying backgrounds.
I grew up in a working class family (I’m the first one in my immediate family to go to university). I think my background has taught me not to take things for granted, to work hard, and to be respectful of all people. Cakes is never going to lack anything—we started her education fund before we bought her first stuffed animal—however, I don’t want her growing up taking what she has for granted. I don’t want her to be surrounded by kids being chauffeured in luxury SUVs to fancy private schools. I don’t want her thinking every 10-year old has an iPod and a cell phone. I don’t pay hundreds of dollars for art classes for my 18-month old when we can do art for free at our local drop-in centre. I don’t want her turning up her nose at someone less fortunate than her.
I want Cakes to learn to give back to her community—there are many activists here and lots of causes to choose from. We’ll find something to do together that interests us both. Hopefully, the gentrification of my neighbourhood won’t happen too quickly. We’ll continue to wave at the man that sits, smoking, in his wheelchair outside of the community centre. We’ll acknowledge the panhandlers. We’ll have conversations with our neighbours instead of walking by, eyes downward. She won’t measure her success by what she drives, or who she wears—she won’t measure anyone by that.
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Labels: Toronto the Good