What is privilege? Is it your access to the internet and a screen that is allowing you to read these words? Is it the fact that you have a roof over your head, a comfortable bed to sleep in, and a job to wake up to in the morning? Maybe it’s the friends you have or the experiences that give meaning to your life. We tend to take so many of our blessings for granted that we forget that some people in the very same world we all share don’t even have access to basic needs like food and water. It’s of no fault of their own.
Some people are born into it and spend their whole lives trying to break into privilege only to never have enough resources to.
A Place To Get Some Rest
“Having a safe place to sleep. I’m very privileged to have a safe place to live, and I understood it more since the start of the pandemic. Not having a safe, stable, comfortable home has to be hell when you are on lockdown. ” – ClauMoir
Rest itself is taken for granted. Most adults need 7 or more hours of good-quality sleep on a regular schedule each night but not everyone is able to take that time. Some people are working 3 jobs trying to make ends meet. But, regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, like obesity, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. not only does it shorten your life expectancy but on a psychological level, it makes you irritable, stressed, and depressed.
Living In A First World Country
Take it from someone who didn’t grow up in a privileged country. It can be hard for the average American to step out of the box enough to take in how poorly others live, mostly because they are surrounded by privilege and conditioned into it everywhere they go:
“I’m from Venezuela and here are the things Americans consider normal that is a privilege here like having a car. I’ve noticed that in the US even poor people have cars, here it’s pretty expensive to have and maintain a car and there’s no credit option.” Also electricity: “power goes out a few times a week. In the US it only goes out when there’s a tornado or something like that.”
There is a problem with sanitation: “here nothing has an actual valid health certificate, unless it’s imported we don’t know if what we’re eating or the water we’re drinking is apt for consumption. Food in America has official certificates.” The list keeps going…the post covers everything from having a phone to the privilege of being able to afford to move out of the parent’s home at a young age: “Sometimes if the backyard is big enough they’ll just build a house themselves for when their children get married so they live there with their partner and children. Living alone at 18 or even during the 20s is rather uncommon and a super privilege here.” – Agile_Objective_2252 / Reddit
Having An Able Body
“Having a body where everything works properly.” – edpmis02 / Reddit Not everyone is able to just roll out of bed in the morning and get their day started. The body that lets you walk freely on the earth, that lets you run if you want to, swim through the ocean, or jump into the sky is a privilege.
Some people suffer chronic pain or disabilities from the moment they exit the womb, never knowing what it feels like to be able to move freely. No amount of money or treatment can even help them and yet they adapt and some of them still live happy and fulfilled lives.
A Stable Childhood
Many echoed that growing up in a loving and safe home should not be taken for granted but is rather a privilege. One person shared: “Having emotionally, financially stable parents that care about and support you.” – SolarisIX While another added: “The ability to actually be a kid when young. It’s heartbreaking how many children have to grow up / are hardened before they even hit puberty.” – fibagik
The reason why a child has to grow up and mature long before they should are usually tied to survival. Often an older sibling will need to step up in a caretaker role, or a kid will have to leave school to go to work with their parents to prioritize a roof over their head. Even some privileged kids are born to parents who never show them love or affection or take the time to teach right from wrong. Kids are entirely dependent on those around them but this can often be a problem.
Knowing When To Except The Next Meal
As “beautyinsideout_” mentions on Reddit: “knowing when your next meal will be” is a privilege on its own but “being able to ask “what are we going to eat” and not “are we going to eat” as “8PoliteChicken8” points out really puts it into perspective.
They add: “I cannot express how grateful I am to have a fridge full of food every day because I know that in other parts of the world some people go days without eating and sometimes have to resort to eating rotten food. It’s awful to think that such terrible conditions exist. I’m just so happy to be privileged enough to have better living arrangements. I just wish other Americans could see how lucky and privileged we actually are. “
Living In Blissful Ignorance
“Ignorance – being blissfully unaware of the struggles of others because those struggles aren’t something you’ve ever even had to consider.” – HappyCrowBrain / Reddit
Is it better to be reminded of how little others have so that we can give as much as we can and show gratitude for what we have rather than waste energy complaining and always chasing more? Or, is it better to live in blissful ignorance without feeling the weight of the struggles of others? We say blissful ignorance is itself a privilege that we should not have. The more mindful we are, the more we can put our knowledge into action and create change.
Privilege Is A Series Of Minor Inconveniences
“If your life is so good that your biggest problems are minor inconveniences, you don’t appreciate just how easy you’ve got it.” – EatingTurkey / Reddit
It’s easy to get caught up in our daily inconveniences and get upset over small things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. While it’s fair to be upset after a long day at work or when they’re out of your favorite food at the grocery store, make sure to keep a big picture perspective and appreciate what you have.
If you’re looking for more information on perspective, take your own zodiac reading. We’re each on our own unique path and what some struggle with, might not be applicable to you too.
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives