A Student Response From:
I am very lucky to have grown up with a roof over my head and food on the table, but when I was a kid I didn’t understand how lucky I was. I was upset that I never had the coolest toys, the trendiest clothes, or the newest iPhone. I didn’t understand that this lack of social status was what allowed me to live the comfortable life that I was blessed with. Now that I am older and much more aware of what it is like to be an adult in this social and political climate, I understand just how much privilege I have in my life. Not only did I have a roof over my head, but I had parents that were still together and showed me as much unconditional love as they had to share. I am also white, which, even though this should not affect how anyone is treated, automatically gives me more privilege in this society. I am so damn lucky and I try to remember this every time I am feeling down about my life. I think it is really important for people to be aware of the privilege they hold and the best way to use it to benefit society. Rose, you brought up that there are people that come from wealthy, privileged positions who feel they need to rebel from the capitalist structure so they adopt a sort of “hippie” lifestyle. These are some of the people who need to be more aware of how good they have it. They think they are doing good for the world because they ride their bike to work or eat organic food, but the reality is that they are able to take part in this because they come from money. They are always preaching this way of life but they neglect the fact that there are people who are living paycheck to paycheck and literally can’t afford to eat anything other than the frozen and affordable food. We have to stop shaming people for the way they grew up and the hardships they had to face, because it is all just a consequence of living in a system that hates minorities, poor people, and women.
It’s so simple and so freaking complicated. I guess it’s not what you do, but how, and why. I’m all into saving the world, but what would we really be doing if we held the consciousness of; inequity, people who don’t have the choice to live certain ways, on stolen land, with an infrastructure built by enslaved people, the virus of white saviorism etc..
If we let it all go and sit in silence, (without exploited spiritual practices either), what would we hear, what would we be, what would we desire without guilt or shame or self-righteousness.
I struggle with this too…
I feel the exact same way! I grew up with many things as a child. I didn’t realize what it meant to have clothes, food, water , etc. i always wanted more and I believe I was a super stubborn child. I am also white but I still feel like I don’t experience white privilege as much as many of my friends or other strangers. We can’t just go around judging one another without knowing our backgrounds and our nature of why we are the way we are. You never know the battles that one may face in life and sometimes when people start to joke around about the struggles of someone the jokes can often lead them to go over the edge and feel bad about themselves. Societies definitely shaped to help the “white man”out and has never really backed up the idea of supporting minorities. Everyday struggles have a significant impact on a person yet they still store it inside because who’s going to sit back and feel bad for you? No one.
I myself having lots of things growing up felt guilty because some of my friends didn’t have much. I’d often bring my friends toys or food from home because I knew they didn’t have what I had. The smile on their faces always made my day and I always made it a point to help someone even if it was a stranger. The same thing goes for me today. I may help a homeless person out, a friend out or just a random stranger. I’ve learned to appreciate everything I have because one day it can be gone in a blink of an eye. Capitalism is everyone’s enemy even when you have everything you desire.