Monday, June 30, 2014

Pity And Single Mothers

Lately I've been watching Undercover Boss on Netflix. It's an interesting show.  It's highly formulaic though. Like Ghost Hunters, only the people and backgrounds change from episode to episode.

It starts with some scenes and commentary from "The Boss" about the company, his or her background, and why he or her wants to go undercover. Then a locker room scene with before and after shots of the transformation from Boss to worker. Then the boss goes undercover.

I've only seen one or two episodes where the boss can actually handle the front line jobs he's there to do. The Subway Boss couldn't even put a sub together after hours of instruction.

But as the scene goes on, the boss starts talking to the worker, asking about background, family, hopes and dreams. The boss finds out the struggles many people have with not being able to make ends meet, sick family members, etc. During the reveal, the boss hands out various gifts like promotions, vacations, charity donations, etc. to the struggling workers who touched his or her heart.

The one thing I am constitutionally incapable of is feeling automatic pity for a single mother. That is, until I know the reasons. There are a variety of reasons a woman could become a single mother, and at least one of them can be summed up as "That's your own damn fault".

I have known many reasons why a woman became a single mother through no real fault of her own. I've also seen and lived through the other side of the coin, where a homewrecker has a reliable provider yet says "GTFO" and seeks a life of near poverty to be rid of the guy.

It's kind of like how you can have pity on somebody who was hit by a drunk driver, but you can't have pity on the drunk driver because he did it to himself.

So when I hear about some "poor, single mother" I wait until I hear some facts surrounding the situation before I decide whether she's worth feeling sorry for or not. But I always feel sorry for the children.

Some people always feel sorry for single mothers. I don't. It is mathematically impossible for all of them to be beyond reproach for making poor decisions.
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