We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Schools Tussle Over Proper Training for Butlers

Click here to access article by Frances Robinson from The Wall Street Journal.

This is another contribution to my practice on Saturdays to run articles about our fellow citizens of the One Percent (actually .01 of the 1%, or one out of every 10,000 of us) hoping that by doing this that we don't lose touch with their world and their concerns--you know, to promote understanding. It is important that we become better acquainted so that we can serve them better and make it easier for them to carry out the daily burden of making important decisions, decisions which affect whether we go off to war in foreign lands to kill their enemies, if we have jobs, if we live in a home or under a bridge, if we can afford their health care services, education, etc.

Unfortunately, for some reason they tend to hide their lives from the rest of us behind walls of secrecy, literal walls of guarded gated communities, private clubs, esoteric publications, by traveling with private jets, etc. We should not let that deter us. 

Today we learn from this article more about the growing career of butling that I first brought to your attention two weeks ago. Just as there are many more of us who have lost our jobs, in today's world there are more rich people and they are hiring butlers and servants (you see, it's true that "every cloud has a silver lining") to look after their every need just like the leading characters on their favor TV show, "Downton Abbey"

I know that many of us unemployed people are fascinated by this new career opportunity; but before we leap into it, we should know that there are some issues involved. This article gives us some idea of what they are so that we can make an informed decision about pursuing this career. For example, some school directors recommend adoption of the latest tech-gadgets:
Mr. Vermeulen beseeches students to be of service in a 21st-century kind of way—ready with smartphone chargers and condoms, as well as shoeshine kits and hair pomade. 
But then another highly regarded director of a butling school disagrees:
Mr. Wennekes blanches at the thought. He isn't overly impressed by technology, and he definitely doesn't condone over familiarity.

Certain indignities bother him more than others. Mr. Wennekes recalls, for instance, one student who had been taught by another school to pull the toe of a sleeping principal if he wasn't awake in time for his breakfast tray.