Robin Hood symbolizes what is wrong with society

Ted Hamilton

Sherwood Forest is being destroyed. The real life forest that was the hideout of the legendary, mythical outlaw Robin Hood only covers 450 acres today — opposed to its past 100,000 acre coverage of Nottinghamshire County. Austin Brady, the regional director of the East Midlands Conservancy Forestry Commission, said this is a shame because Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest are part of England’s national identity.

The real shame is that an outlaw, albeit mythical, who stole from the rich to give to the poor is part of the national identity of a leading Western nation.

In other words, I hope everything the forest stands for is razed to the ground to provide more room for farms and pastures. Things people can use to further their own means, worth and productivity. In no way am I stating that forests are not beautiful places or that they should be destroyed. In this case however, the forest represents an idea not viable in today’s society.

Long gone are the days when tyrannical nobles and kings lived in wealth while the common person was condemned to a life of lowly servitude. Thanks to capitalism, productive people have the chance to market their ideas and inventions. Instead of creating a society that justifies mediocrity such as the outlaw advocates, ours has become one in which most people have the chance to escape poverty if they really wish to.

In other words, our society helps urge people to strive for something instead of justifying being inferior. An auto shop owner is pushed to create new ideas and ways to increase the quality of his services instead of expecting to be given money for just existing. Instead of being crushed under the fist of a tyrant, people are allowed to make choices on their own. Some people choose to be poor. Instead of saving money, some choose to buy cigarettes or beer when the smart thing would be to save for a rainy day.

Growing up, I watched my friend’s mom buy two big screen TVs when her family was making it paycheck-to-paycheck. All the while, she was also collecting money from the government. So the money I paid in taxes from working went to pay for her big screen TVs instead of something for my own use or an actual need of hers. There was no need for her to strive to be productive or think of new ideas because she could get what money she needed from others — to buy humongous TVs apparently.

Some people are in need of charity whether it is for a disability or illness. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when lazy people just do not want to be productive and would rather live off others in our society. What is even worse are the weak, who encourage the behavior and want to see money go to a woman who has three children just because she cannot keep it in her pants or to someone who refuses to get a job.

Stealing from the productive to give to people who would rather buy TVs and cigarettes is counter-productive to society.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].