Five weeks into the community quarantine, people have become anxious about whether there is an end in sight. Stress born out of anxiety is at an all-time high as people yearn to return to normalcy. They need an outlet to vent their frustration, and in these trying times social media is the easiest and safest outlet.
Recently, there was a rant by a climate change expert against a Lamborghini driving along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. He basically castigated owners of expensive sports cars who were taking advantage of the light traffic to drive their steeds. He accused them of being entitled and privileged. He mentioned the Toyota Supra, the Ford Mustang and the Mazda Miata as cars he had probably seen plying the roads during this lockdown period.
Unfortunately, the post backfired and was eventually taken down. Instead of successfully painting a bad image of supercar owners, the ranter was himself labeled as an envious and bitter person. And by photographing the Lamborghini and saying negative stuff about its owner without clear proof the latter was doing anything illegal, the guy was flirting with cybercrime. I hope he realizes that now.
This begs the question: Is it wrong to drive your fancy car these days? This is purely opinion, but I believe the short answer is no.
Commonwealth Avenue is a massive 10- to 12-lane thoroughfare connected to many feeder roads leading to affluent residential areas. The entire stretch has vastly appreciated to become prime real estate. The populace has, of course, leveled up as well. Many rich and powerful families live in the area, and it’s quite common to find exotic sports cars driving along this highway. This is simply an indication that we live in a golden era that offers a great selection of car models.
In the case of the above-mentioned Lamborghini, there is no evidence to show that the car was being driven recklessly, above the speed limit or in violation of traffic rules. The real fault I can attach to the vehicle owner was the absence of a license plate.
Perhaps the owner took the Lambo out to buy groceries, food or other essentials. Perhaps his other cars had empty fuel tanks or dead batteries. Perhaps the Lamborghini was the easiest car to drive out of the garage at the time. Perhaps the owner was on his way to donate to frontliners. Or perhaps he really did want to stretch the Lambo’s legs. Who knows? With no conclusive proof, we can never know the car owner’s true motivation. But even if he was indeed simply going out for a spin, the act only carried the same weight as that of someone driving a Toyota Wigo—nothing more, nothing less.
This misguided self-righteousness is a problem. While the vast majority of the population do live below the poverty line, we cannot be angry at the wealthy minority for living a life different from our own. That would be another form of discrimination and bigotry. Well-heeled individuals don’t deserve a special degree of hatred just because they happen to have a lot of money.
We live in a democracy where hard work should be celebrated and inspire others to do the same, conquering the odds and overcoming our own personal challenges
It has always been part of our nature to doubt a rich person’s source of income. In this country, if someone is incredibly loaded, he is quickly dismissed as being corrupt or guilty of unlawful activities. We tend to hate on those that are different from us and do things differently from what we’re accustomed to. What does that tell us?
Progressive societies think of solutions to address social issues, focusing on equity for all rather than a leftist, socialist or even communist imposition of one’s subjective standards that have a wrong sense of parity. We live in a democracy where hard work should be celebrated and inspire others to do the same, conquering the odds and overcoming our own personal challenges. There is enough anecdotal evidence of self-made, financially successful people in our country, and I can tell you they didn’t waste time stressing over what others did. Instead, they used their time, energy and resources on their own positive goals.
Obviously, driving one’s Lamborghini (or Ferrari or Maserati or BMW or Audi or Mercedes-Benz or Lexus or Jaguar or Porsche or Aston Martin) under quarantine is not the most prudent thing to do right now. But we have no right to judge anyone who does so. Let’s not follow hypocritical standards imposed by a culture of bitterness. Let’s just work on our own dreams so that we might one day be in a position to afford and drive a supercar ourselves.