Check Your “Privilege”

(I had meant to publish this post yesterday, but for some reason, WordPress’s queue feature has been acting odd and it didn’t work, so here’s my first Saturday post in a long time!)

I’m not sure I understand the concept of “privilege.” It seems like there are people who want you to be ashamed of your “privilege.” If you have more than others or if you were fortunate enought to have been born into a middle- or upper-class family in a wealthy, first-world country, you had better keep your mouth shut because nobody wants to hear about the perfect hand of cards you were dealt. I know we shouldn’t go bragging about what we have and throwing it in others’ faces, but… is that what peopleĀ mean when they tell you to “check your privilege”? Is it a reminder to be humble?

In my mind, everyone isĀ given gifts and talents when they’re born. Some of these gifts and talents are material wealth and power, others are intelligence or patience or artistic capabilities. Everyone is also given challenges and weaknesses, and in my view, we are all supposed to help each other with our weaknesses by sharing our gifts and talents. Naturally, life isn’t fair, so all of these things, both the hardships and the riches (material and otherwise), are not evenly distributed.

However, I don’t think anyone is 100% privileged, and I don’t think that anyone is 100% disadvantaged. But perhaps that mentality comes from being a “privileged” American and living in the “land of opportunity,” where everyone can achieve the “American dream” (although the cynical would have you believe the American dream is, for all intents and purposes, dead). Believe me, I am incredibly grateful that I have been dealt a good hand thus far, and that I have the privileges that I have. I do not intend to be arrogant about them, and I apologize if I come off that way.

Anyway, happy 4th!

Posted July 5, 2014 by Maggie in Journal

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