Privilege

More today then ever before, I have heard people talk about privilege.

“You have the latest iPhone, you can’t possibly complain about your life now.”

“You live in an area wealthier than 97% of he worlds population. How could you complain about anything?”

“You have a perfect life. Don’t try to bring up your superficial problems with me!”

See, the really infuriating thing about problems is that everybody ha them, regardless of what social, economic or political class you reside in. They may not be the same universal problems, but they are still problems nonetheless. You can’t discount one person’s suffering just because they aren’t suffering in the same way as someone else.

Using the old Albert Einstein quote, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Strangely enough, the same concept can be applied for problems too. No, that pastry rich kid might not have any struggles with hunger to speak of, but did you know that he’s always felt inferior to his parents, who are never around to help? And yes, that girl over there is one of the most popular kids in her grade, but do you know how much she is struggling with her own self image? And yes, the Asian boy who still blogs about education and life sometimes seems set for life, but do you know how much guilt he has when he needs to not go to a church event to finish homework, or how much he still struggles with feeling a sense of belonging at school, or how much his heart breaks when the majority of Facebook messages deal with the topic of WebAssign and not about mundane life issues?

Each person has their own struggles in life, and it just isn’t fair to discount all of their personal struggles just because of what they already have in life. Of course, it is important to count your blessings; it’s how we humans can still stay positive in life! But all the same, sometimes all we are looking for us a shoulder to cry on and a warm heart to accept us for who we are.

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One thought on “Privilege

  1. YES. I feel this all the time. It’s hard to look around and realize that everyone around you is struggling, despite putting on happy faces. I like to look at this through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, since it shows that everyone will always have different “needs” (aka problems), just on different levels. Although most people in America have their physiological needs satisfied, very few if any are at the stage of self-actualization, leaving the rest of us stuck somewhere in the middle.

    And if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m almost always silently lurking on the interwebs. :)

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