June 8, 2022

How harmful Is Favouritism?

Jane Larner

oil paint, written wordThose We Love Best, 202219" by 27"

Favouritism may seem a trivial thing. But have you ever sat up late with a brother or sister, chatting, drinking; and then been shocked by a sudden outburst of anger or bitter emotion about something long long past, something you weren’t even aware of at the time? There can be such pent up rage at perceived injustices or favouritism: a rage that has festered quietly for decades, but you can still see and hear the child in your 60 year old sibling. There is no talking through the hurt. It has seeded itself and grown – a seed sown (perhaps unknowingly or carelessly) by a parent. But it has grown to shape or twist a personality. My still life uses a jug and fruit to reflect the theme of my poem “Those we love best”. We have a natural affinity for those like us, and struggle to like those who are different. Our family problems mirror similar social issues – we bond with those akin to us and are awkward with, or hostile to, those who seem alien. Favouritism, discrimination, inequality are always personally painful, and can be destructive, both for individuals and for society.