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InvisibleVeritas
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Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 11,089
Privileged
    #6881512 - 05/06/07 08:11 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

To be privileged is to have a better chance at a good life than most people.  By the numbers, any person living in the U.S. is privileged, however dire their personal circumstances may be, because we have a better chance at a good life than most of the other people on the planet.

Yet how many of us actually feel privileged?  How many of us believe that we are in an amazingly fortunate position?  I'm not just repeating the old saw "count your blessings," I'm asking you to consider your position in life.

I know that I am privileged, compared to the majority of humanity, despite many difficulties I've experienced & continue to experience.  Reminding myself of this in the midst of my difficulties doesn't usually console, but it does put things in perspective.

I've never known war on my "home turf," never been raped or mugged or shot or beat up, never watched someone die, never had my life threatened, never known true hunger, never lived on the streets, never been terrorized by my own government, never been discriminated against.

This is what privilege looks like.  Not the huge mansion on the hill (though that would be nice), or the multi-digit bank account balances, but the chance to have a good life.  The chance to enjoy just being here, to work on personal growth, to attain important goals, to connect with others, to love and nurture my family.

If you have that chance, and I think that you do, you are privileged, too.

:heart:


Edited by Veritas (05/06/07 11:14 PM)


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OfflineMushroomTrip
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Re: Priveleged [Re: Veritas]
    #6882075 - 05/06/07 10:32 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

:smile:

I feel privileged :yesnod:
For lots of things, for being able to smile after a misfortune, for all the good things that happen to me, for being able to get something out from my mistakes and now for finding love :heartpump:

I think that feeling like that doesn't come from what owns (even if these thing might intersect), but it's not a requirement, feeling privileged happens when one realizes that that always more to life, and there are amazing this out there too. :smile:


--------------------
:bunny::bunnyhug:
All this time I've loved you
And never known your face
All this time I've missed you
And searched this human race
Here is true peace
Here my heart knows calm
Safe in your soul
Bathed in your sighs

:bunnyhug: :yinyang2:


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OfflineLion
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Re: Priveleged [Re: Veritas]
    #6882087 - 05/06/07 10:37 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

I agree, but even in the States there are many who do not, I think, have even the chance to co-create a better reality.

Our society is still stratified, and people are still systematically infantilized, programmed, and oppressed.

Those of us with privilege need to walk the line between responsibility and self-blame. Beating yourself up trying to understand why you have so much more than most people is ultimately fruitless. Being the change you want to see is where it's at!


--------------------
“Strengthened by contemplation and study,
I will not fear my passions like a coward.
My body I will give to pleasures,
to diversions that I’ve dreamed of,
to the most daring erotic desires,
to the lustful impulses of my blood, without
any fear at all, for whenever I will—
and I will have the will, strengthened
as I’ll be with contemplation and study—
at the crucial moments I’ll recover
my spirit as was before: ascetic.”


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Registered: 01/01/05
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Re: Privileged [Re: Veritas]
    #6882151 - 05/06/07 10:54 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

Sometimes I feel guilty about how privileged I am. I come from an upper-middle class background, have a college degree, and have traveled the world with my family. When I mention any of these to my co-workers, they look at me as if to say "What the hell are you doing working here?"


--------------------


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Priveleged [Re: Lion]
    #6882195 - 05/06/07 11:05 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

Quote:

I agree, but even in the States there are many who do not, I think, have even the chance to co-create a better reality.





I see people come from dire circumstances in 3rd world nations to the US and prosper due to their hard work. Any person has a shot...not just here, but anywhere. Some do have a better chance than others, but how many people do you see squander opportunities daily. I was once recruited for and given orders to attend West Point Military Academy, I turned them down at the last moment, and 3 years later I was living in abject poverty. Opportunities come and go and many who have nothing grab them promptly while others who have it all throw down what they were offered. Everybody has a chance....no matter how small...to achieve whatever they desire.

Now, do I feel privileged? Yes. I capitalize on any strength or good fortune to increase that privilege. I try to take very little for granted.

Quote:

“All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between the average person and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this and stays alert, deliberately waiting, so that when this cubic centimeter of chance pops out, it is picked up.” -- C.C.




--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: Priveleged [Re: Lion]
    #6882276 - 05/06/07 11:19 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

I don't see any reason to feel guilty about the chance we have.  It's not as though we shoved someone else out of the way to get their "place" in the world.  :shrug:

My point is that we often view privilege as a state of not having problems, or having so much money that you can buy your way out of your problems.  This is inaccurate, and ultimately excludes everyone from the definition.

Neither does privilege assure you will have a good life, it just offers the opportunity.  It is still up to us to take full advantage of the opportunity.


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Invisiblemushbaby
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Registered: 09/30/06
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Re: Priveleged [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #6882299 - 05/06/07 11:26 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

Some friends and I spent a little time in Mexico helping an orphanage. During our time down there you got so used to seeing dirt and brown and grime that it was a total shock to the senses when you cross the border and see all that green. It serves as a vivid reminder of the privileges I have. If more people spent time with the true poor they'd complain less about how rough their lives are.


--------------------


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Privileged [Re: Veritas]
    #6882360 - 05/06/07 11:47 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

I think that privileged is an illusion. Each person will react to their circumstances in a different way. Many people who live in that mansion have a horrendous emotional landscape as far as I can see. Maybe living in poverty or experiencing pain is just what is needed to bring out the strength that might lie dormant otherwise. It's a very individual thing. In the United States we consume the highest amounts of calcium in the world (we can afford dairy to our hearts content and supplements, we are privileged that way) and yet we have, by far the most osteoporosis in the world. In many third world countries where they get about one fourth of the calcium they have almost no osteoporosis. They do however get lots of exercise, and magnesium from unprocessed food (magnesium deficiency is common in U.S. because of the processing of food for our privileged palates) and vit D from being in the sunshine.

I think often that we are at an emotional/spiritual disadvantage because of our privileged lives. But that could be wrong. But I'll bet we have as much trouble being happy as much of the rest of the world. We have the leisure to brood endlessly on ourselves.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Privileged [Re: Icelander]
    #6883443 - 05/07/07 08:18 AM (14 years, 12 days ago)

Quote:

Maybe living in poverty or experiencing pain is just what is needed to bring out the strength that might lie dormant otherwise.




Very true. The few years I spent wondering where my (and my family's) next meal would come from was just what I needed to wake up and not make so many assumptions. In my upbringing I was spoiled and given most whatever I wanted and this was damaging to me. A good 3/4 of my children's upbringing was done below the poverty line. I think that they understand about struggle as much as I and they seem to appreciate the opportunities presented to them...unlike myself at their age.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflineNiamhNyx
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Re: Privileged [Re: Veritas]
    #6885331 - 05/07/07 06:33 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

Quote:

Veritas said:
To be privileged is to have a better chance at a good life than most people. By the numbers, any person living in the U.S. is privileged, however dire their personal circumstances may be, because we have a better chance at a good life than most of the other people on the planet.





I disagree. There are many people in the United States who are anything but privileged. There is an extreme disparity in wealth and opportunity in the US. There is overt systemic racism. Whether or not one is privileged is of course, more or less subjective, as a person can have a certain type of privilege while being oppressed in other ways. For example, someone might have white skin privilege but be dirt poor, or female, and experience the oppressions related to those identities. Also, what do you define as a 'good life'? One can be materially comfortable and still have a hellish life.

Quote:

I've...never been raped or mugged or shot or beat up, never watched someone die, never had my life threatened, never known true hunger, never lived on the streets, never been terrorized by my own government, never been discriminated against.




Many people in the United States have experienced one or more of these things.

I know that I am privileged, by the standards of my culture, in many ways. I'm white, I don't currently have any debilitating mental or physical issues, and one of my parents is financially well off enough to help me access educational opportunities that will help me stabilize my own economic position, and to bail me out if ever necessary. I've got a lot of privilege. But I've also experienced a lot of poverty. I grew up with a single mom on welfare, and the parent that is currently well off was an alcoholic living in a slum who was in no position to help me until more recently. I've spent significant time and energy fearing rape. I've been sexually harassed... anyways. My point is that privilege is relative... and that it's total crap to say that everyone in the US is privileged.


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: Privileged [Re: Veritas]
    #6885368 - 05/07/07 06:43 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

I think it depends on how you want to look at it.

for example: take an extremely attractive girl and compare it to a female burn victim. The attractive female has had lots of doors openned for her, thousands of gifts bestowed on her... etc... all without ever asking. While the burn victim has had to overcome the obstacle that is her appearance.

In the context of the analogy, I feel as an American I am that extremely attractive girl... meaning that I have not had any real obstacles to overcome in life, which ultimately makes me feel like a fatted calf.

So, one can see it as having real survival obstacles to overcome, to be forced to rise to the occasion constantly is a priveledge.... while others can think that having silver spoons all around is priveledged.


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OfflineLion
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Re: Privileged [Re: Icelander]
    #6885708 - 05/07/07 08:02 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
I think that privileged is an illusion. Each person will react to their circumstances in a different way. Many people who live in that mansion have a horrendous emotional landscape as far as I can see. Maybe living in poverty or experiencing pain is just what is needed to bring out the strength that might lie dormant otherwise. It's a very individual thing. In the United States we consume the highest amounts of calcium in the world (we can afford dairy to our hearts content and supplements, we are privileged that way) and yet we have, by far the most osteoporosis in the world. In many third world countries where they get about one fourth of the calcium they have almost no osteoporosis. They do however get lots of exercise, and magnesium from unprocessed food (magnesium deficiency is common in U.S. because of the processing of food for our privileged palates) and vit D from being in the sunshine.

I think often that we are at an emotional/spiritual disadvantage because of our privileged lives. But that could be wrong. But I'll bet we have as much trouble being happy as much of the rest of the world. We have the leisure to brood endlessly on ourselves.


Great post. :thumbup: :heart:


--------------------
“Strengthened by contemplation and study,
I will not fear my passions like a coward.
My body I will give to pleasures,
to diversions that I’ve dreamed of,
to the most daring erotic desires,
to the lustful impulses of my blood, without
any fear at all, for whenever I will—
and I will have the will, strengthened
as I’ll be with contemplation and study—
at the crucial moments I’ll recover
my spirit as was before: ascetic.”


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