“Don’t matter what you look like
Don’t matter what you wear
How many rings you got on your finger
We don’t care, no, we don’t care!”
– from “Dig a Little Deeper,” from The Princess and the Frog
The story of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog is largely about telling the difference between what you want and what you need. As the protagonists find a wise woman in the swamps, she tells them how their priorities have been a bit skewed towards pursuing the things of the world instead of things which are more meaningful, like love and family. It’s true, the prince of the story has been trying to fill his life with luxury, music, parties, and girls, telling himself that it makes him happy, but the princess has been making a similar mistake, albeit in a different way. She’s been working herself to the bone trying to get enough money to open a restaurant, and what a magnificent, beautiful restaurant it would be! The crown jewel of the city, in fact, very much fulfilling her daddy’s dream. It’s not a bad thing, wanting to bring people together to enjoy good food, but she learns that the opulent establishment she has in mind is, ultimately, meaningless in the face of what she truly needs, what her hard-working daddy truly needed, and had: a life filled with love, most especially his family.
One character comes from the upper crust, and one comes from the bottom. Both have misplaced their priorities, albeit in different ways, on wealth and shiny things and all the stuff that the world praises. Both come to remember what is really valuable, and adjust their lives accordingly, because, whatever their differences in class and background, they both need the same thing.
Everyone needs the same thing, and it’s not money or status. Those are useful things, yes, but having them does not make one wiser, kinder, or happier.
Of course, I hasten to add, lacking them does not make one wiser, kinder, or happier either!
My point is how irrelevant the things of the world are to one’s character, disposition, and worth.
You can wear a ring on every finger, or no rings at all, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change who you are, it doesn’t make you better or worse, it has no bearing on what kind of human being you are. People forget that, a lot, as rich and poor alike look down on each other with haughty pride.
We need to see past what people have, past the rings, the furs, the mansions, the expensive cars and private jets, all the honors of men and glories of the world, or the lack thereof, we need to see past what people don’t have, too. We need to be able to look at each other and see people, regardless of our differences.
In short… we need to just not care about it.
That holds true for class, color, age, religion, nationality, and a hundred other factors over which we divide ourselves.