Country singer Taylor Swift's childhood home in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
Resentment and envy are ugly, ugly things. As the old saying goes, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. The nasty tone of multitudinous remarks left by commentators today on Yahoo -- in connection to a story about singer Taylor Swift's childhood home, described as a "mansion" -- make my blood boil. And I'm not even a fan of Ms. Swift or her music. But let's get a few things straight.
This is a very nice home in an upper middle-class area just outside Reading, Pennsylvania, clearly taken care of and maintained very well. Some other families in the area even live in renovated 200-year-old fieldstone farmhouses with the barn and outbuildings intact. And still others have a couple of horses. What? Shock! Horror! Gasp! Horses? The nerve!
Anyway, you'll find many examples of both types of houses in SE Pennsylvania and elsewhere in nicer areas throughout the Middle Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. You'll also see similar types of houses like the one shown above in certain well-preserved, nicer urban areas, or their suburbs, in other parts of the country. But Ms. Swift's childhood home is hardly a mansion, and it's hardly the kind of place lived in by "the rich." Upper middle-class educated professionals with some grooming and taste, yes.
Resenting someone because he or she enjoyed a pleasant upbringing and did not come from the streets is bad enough. Actually giving voice those kinds of opinions in a very broad, public forum and going on to lay all of one's own problems at the feet of someone else is mean (in at least two senses) and just plain crass. And that's putting it mildly. Let's work to stop ourselves before we behave in a similar fashion, ok guys? It's not attractive. Unless of course you somehow think the world owes you something. Let's do our utmost not to be like that.
For average guys working to kick up their personal style a few notches, it's always a better idea to keep any seething, festering resentment about someone else, and the remarks it might generate, to themselves. If you want to write and distribute a manifesto identifying the vast litany of societal ills you perceive, fine. So be it. Grow your hair out, move to Latin America (or these days, Egypt), and start another Revolution. Otherwise, let it go and work to make your own immediate life better in whatever way that might be. Without taking to the streets and looting or burning others' property.
If, however, we want to come across as more groomed, stylish, and urbane in our attitudes and actions, it's far preferable to keep our mouths closed. Unless we can contribute to the general conversation, or even societal discourse, in a positive way. Life is too short to grind away and moan about how others are somehow the root of society's problems because they were fortunate enough to have a fairly pleasant childhood. As we began this post, let us end it. If you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything.