I am pretty sure at the age of five I did not intend to become this pessimistic person. In this article, I am going to speak about privilege. I am sure some of you do not understand the power of privilege, but regardless of what you believe, this article means nothing to offend you. Growing up, I lived in two separate worlds with each of my parents; a poor and a wealthy life. This gave me the ability to understand my privileges, among many other things. I saw my mother working these difficult hard jobs and making little money, while my father went to college and became a doctor.
It was a privilege to grow up with access to resources on one hand and barely any on another. It is kind of like when someone says to you, "It is a privilege, not a right". I am sure half of the tasks you have accomplished in your life have more to do with privilege, and less to do with your rights. It is important to understand how bad or good you have it. It can change your life, I promise.
Believe it or not, our eventual place in this world has almost everything to do with how we grew up and what we learned because of it. I watched both of my parents make different decisions, in which they both lost and won in many battles because of this. My mother is extremely empathetic and loving, while my father is smart and logical. Without their life experiences, I doubt they would be the people that they are now.
To be honest, I am not sure that I would be able to think the way I do if it was not for such a clash in life styles—because of divorce. I am currently enrolled in college, studying social work, because I want to help people for a living. I know that accomplishing milestones in life is a race, and unfortunately, we do not all have the same starting point. As I said in the beginning, I am a pessimist, though, no matter how hard I try to become optimistic. This could have a lot to do with growing up and watching people suffer while working with the largest ambitions.
It is a shame that in this society, we can work two or more jobs and still not have the fulfillment that life should bring. I am not talking about money, I am talking about that pounding in your chest when you see the person you love and those rare little moments that you cry because you are actually happy. If you work constantly and take care of the list of things you have to do—when can you breathe? When can you live? If you never had to ask yourself these questions, you are privileged, and no, that is not supposed to be mean, just true. All I know is, regardless of your income and your work schedule, you should have a few moments to relax in your life, before you are sixty five years old and living off small checks just to get by.
I believe that knowing your own privileges can reflect the resources and opportunities offered to people that are less privileged than you are. We are all in this together, and throughout time, I am positive that we can make the race have the same starting point.
There are many, many things with this, such as: race, sexuality, gender identity, class, religion, accessibility to resources, and ability. I am not trying to say to feel low because you have it better than others. That is what is so great about understanding privileges—instead of falling down, you can help people up to the same level that you are on. Educating yourself, your friends, and families can be a solution to inequality and discrimination in the world. Advocating for equal rights, resources, safety, equal pay, etc., we can help everyone, including ourselves. This is not about defending yourself and the way you grew up. This is not about bias or your beliefs, this is about wanting every single person to feel and have access to a life that is fair. A life worth living.
Thank you for reading,
A true advocate.