noun, verb.

a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most: the privileges of the very rich.

I read this post the other day about a blogger who says she “had” privilege, once.

And I agree with her article, that states, basically, the more money you have, the more privileged you are to have an easy life – you have options that people without that money do not.

However, I think she missed a spot.

Right now I can look right across my street at my neighbour’s house, and then look back at you and honestly say *I* have privilege, even though I have nowhere near Ann Romney’s money.

1) I have the option to work full time or part time.  My paycheck pays for the extras, not the bills. Both husband and wife across the way have no choice but to work – if they don’t work, they don’t eat.

2) I have the option to enrol my children in pretty much any activity they want. Within reason.  My children are not going to be horseriding on a regular basis, or paragliding, or anything expensive.  But they have the privilege of choosing between swimming, soccer, karate, dancing, gymnastics, music, or whatever.  The children across the street are lucky if they get to play soccer or rugby, as that’s the cheapest activity option around here.

3) If an emergency cost comes up (say, the car needs new tires, or we have to do some house repairs) we can handle it.  No, this isn’t a budgeting thing. This is the privilege of tertiary education and a higher paying job.  My neighbours across the street are very careful and smart with their money – they have to be.  And yet, if some major costs came up, they’d be in serious trouble.

4) Grocery shopping.  Yes, I have a budget.  But I have a lot of choice in my budget.  My neighbour buys staples only.  stuff like a carton of ice cream is a rare treat.

5) Access to the internet is a privilege.  My neighbours cannot afford access. Not even on their phones.  And yet, I nearly live on the ‘net!

Privilege is relative, I think.  Because I could even make an argument over why my neighbours are privileged over a whole ‘nother set of people.

I think people have to recognise our privileges (because each and every one of us have them), to make sure we are thankful for them, and no make sure we aren’t rubbing them in anyone’s face (intentionally or not!). And where possible, share the privilege, to make this world a better place.


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

7 responses to “Privilege”

  1. susanft says :

    You do indeed have privilege. I wonder if your neighbours consider themselves privileged compared to others in even harder circumstances?

    • Broot says :

      Probably not. But neither would most in my position. And the original article writer wrote her post in the past tense … “had” privilege, even though I’m sure, if we looked at what she did have, we’d find some. I think it’s all relative. And didn’t Anne Romney disbelieve her privilege, as well? 🙂

  2. Lizbeth says :

    Its nice to look around and see what you have and to be thankful for it. And I was wondering the same thing….I wonder if they feel privileged?

  3. Jenn @ You know...that Blog? says :

    Argh I hate that WP makes you login if you have an account somewhere. I lost the long comment I was going to leave you! Long and short of it is this; this was a well written article, and a great life lesson. Kudos to you!

  4. solodialogue says :

    Privilege is relative, yes. I would agree that we should always be grateful for what we have. There are things that privilege will never buy that are ultimately the most important and whether we have those is reflective of who we are. Thanks for this reminder. 🙂

  5. Lattejunkie says :

    I’ve been trying to think of a reply that doesn’t include me just nodding my head in agreement. Thank you for writing this.

  6. eof737 says :

    I’m finally catching up again on blog posts. Thanks for your patience! 🙂

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