This week marks the celebration of love, Valentine’s Day. Americans and Brits go all out to show their love. They...
Imagine one year you had a huge pile of presents for your birthday – small ones, medium ones and large ones. A person comes to you and takes a small present. You don’t care, because it’s just a small one and you have a lot of presents. Another person comes by and takes another small present. Again, it’s no big deal, because you still have a large pile of presents. More people come and take more presents. Now they are taking small, medium and large presents and you can see your pile of presents shrinking. Soon, almost all your presents are gone, and you are very angry.
The next year starts the same way – you have another huge pile of birthday presents. You have already decided that you are not going to have a repeat of last year. So, when the first person comes to take the first small present, you say, “NO!” because you want to keep all the presents – not because you need or want all of them, but because you don’t want a repeat of last year when giving away one small present led to having nothing! You defend your pile of presents, because you want to have a choice of which ones to keep and which ones to give away.
Let’s compare: The first year, where giving away the smallest present led to having no presents at the end represents the Colonists of the United States, who had their rights (‘presents’) taken away little by little by King George until they had almost no rights left. What happened? A revolution!
We can also use the same analogy for the French, whose Aristocracy took away the rights (‘presents’) of the people a bit at a time until there were almost none left. What happened? A revolution!
So, both countries are very cautious about guarding their rights from being taken by their respective governments. We both fight any attempt by the government to take back rights that we’ve held since our revolutions – not because we think the actual rights themselves are in danger, but that the giving up of one right will only lead to losing more and more of them.
you don’t care = tu t’en fiches
no big deal = pas de problème
shrinking = diminuant