Pity, oh pity, good souls, the poor suffering child whose parents pay exorbitant sums so she can be forced to take ballet class at the region's most prestigious schools. Consider, if you can bear the thought, the agony of the young girl betrayed by her own talent, leading her parents to conspire how best to torture her: "Let's sign her up for lessons because it will be so fun for us to drive 45 minutes each way every Saturday morning for a 90-minute class! And the best part is that our child will yell at us every Friday night!" Shed tears with this innocent maiden as she sobs, "Prestigious School is no fun! Mom and Dad are so mean! My class is hell!"
Ah, hell. Do you really want to tell me that doing drills at ballet class is comparable to eternal separation from God? You mean to say that you have the worst life in the whole world because your loving parents try to nurture your talent at a dance school that insists on a ballet bun? Let's talk, dear, about true suffering. Let's discuss the children whose parents beat them, the children who are starving, the children who are freezing on this cold cold night. Listen to Daddy tell the story of the man he knows whose father was a boy in Belgium when the Germans invaded, whose sister was shot dead on the morning of the invasion as she was walking to church with her family. Mommy assures you that you are so fortunate to grow up in a family with parents who love each other. My darling, there is suffering out there that is beyond your capacity to imagine right now. There are children whose life is almost literally hell on earth, who can only dream of the happy warm existence you have with your sisters and brother in this big house. Do not ever tell me again, please, that ballet class is "hell".
A pause, and fresh tears start. "I don't want to go to class! And why do I have to take a shower every Friday night?"
Time for bed.
The Mencius, Book IV
5 hours ago