Monday, November 21, 2005

Privileges

Check out my new bathtub. It's the perfect place to soak my weary body all day Friday. I think I’ll pick up a bottle of champagne and a good book, put on some tunes, and shut out the world while I indulge in a little well-deserved luxury after a day with my crazy family.

I wish it were true. Hell, the cost of that bathtub alone would probably cover my house payment for at least four months. And, I’m pretty sure the monstrosity wouldn’t fit in my little bathroom anyway. I’d have to take baths in the middle of the living room. Hey! It’s always fun to dream. Besides, I already have much to be thankful for.

It's the time of year to pause to think about our blessings. This is an easy task for me. I’m one of the most fortunate people I know. Even when I get the blues, I can’t deny that I have very little to complain about. Compared to too many others, I have a life of easy abundance.

Privilege: a special advantage or immunity or benefit not enjoyed by all.

My privileges are some of my most profound blessings. These are things I didn’t earn. They are powerful attributes that came to me for being born to the right people in the right place at the right time. They’ve made my life relatively comfortable. Everything I’ve ever accomplished has been more attainable because of these privileges. It’s easy to take such things for granted, so I don’t let myself. I can’t. You can’t. We can’t. To do so would dishonor the people who fought to give them to us. It would dishonor the people who survive without them.
It would dishonor those who suffer because of them.

  1. I was born white in a society that prefers light skin to dark skin. My skin color fits in nearly everywhere. It’s the norm. It’s the assumed color unless you’re told otherwise. White skin is neither good nor bad, except that my life, in this place and time, is easier because of it.
  2. I grew up in a 2-parent family at a time when divorce rates increased dramatically. Although many kids grow up healthy and strong in single parent, divorced, or blended families; I had the privilege of the "ideal" homelife.
  3. I live in the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world. In this country, I enjoy freedoms that other people in other parts of the world risk their lives for. For the most part, as long as I don’t hurt other people or myself, I can do and say almost anything I want … and I do.
  4. I came of age post Roe V. Wade and post oral contraception.
  5. I can vote. (Guess who I voted for?)
  6. I can read and write. There are 860 million illiterate adults in the world. Two thirds of those are women. If I was a woman in Togo or Nepal, I’d only have about a 25% chance of being literate. In the U.S., 97% of us can read and write. (Source: UNESCO)
  7. Throughout my whole life, I’ve been able to see, hear and talk. Other than a nasty ankle fracture 13 years ago, I’ve always been perfectly mobile without the aid of appliances.
  8. It’s assumed that I’m heterosexual. I can show affection and love to my partners and have our relationships sanctioned by society.
  9. I’ve always had a bed to sleep in and food to eat.
  10. I’ve never been truly alone. I’ve never known a day in my life that I haven’t been Loved.

I have other privileges and blessings. These are the ones I’m pondering today.

What are your privileges?
What would your life be like without them?

13 Comments:

At 12:49 AM, Blogger nosthegametoo said...

My biggest privledge: growing up and experiencing emotional stability in my family and the world around me. All the problems we will face in the world, as individuals, can be overcome if you have a stable base. There is no greater blessing/privledge that I can think of.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

My biggest privledge:
Being able to work, have strong support from fellow co-workers, and being promoted in a previously all-male dominated field.

Without it? I would be the one FIGHTING for these rights!


Happy Thanksgiving my HOTT-T!!!!
I LOVE your list, and very much agree with a majority of it!
*smooches*

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

That was great, Theresa.

And your list - exactly the same as mine would be. So your post really struck a chord inside me.

Thanks for the reminder to be thankful :-)

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger ZooooM said...

Ah. Many of mine reflect yours as well. I did live through a divorced household, but my life is better because of it. That, I am sure of.

Great posting as usual. And one I'll think about throughout the day.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Al said...

I've been priveldged to be around people who have given me a shot at the brass ring.
My wife, for one, could've done a lot better than me (and still could)
During my first "real" job interview - The guy said that he would give me a shot. Did I deserve the chance more than anyone else, probably not. I had the education and the drive - but no exp.
I think I've just been priveledged to meet and know good people

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Chick said...

Oh Theresa, that last one is my holy privilege too...how lucky (& it IS luck) we both are to have people who'll love us no matter what...

I had a bad accident years ago too...wheelchair, cane...the whole nine yards...I cried 'cuz I had to lean on people & couldn't do it all myself...I feel blessed everyday to have my mobility back.

Happy, happy, Thanksgiving.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

It's my privilege to know you, sweetheart.

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Popeye said...

Aw, Larry took mine. . .

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

We seem to have grown up as neighbors. It is painful to consider how fortunate we have been.

BTW, I promised to feed her!

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger theresa said...

nosthegametoo - A solid feeling of belonging and security is truly invaluable. When I worked with homeless teens, I was in awe of their perseverance and resolve despite the aloneness they experienced.

Hot Blaze Chik - You earned the respect of your co-workers. At the same time, it took some very courageous people to pave the way in order for you to have the opportunity to do so.

Laurie - I don't really think you needed the reminder to be thankful. You seem pretty aware of the reality of this world.
Your post today was exceptionally touching.

Zoooom - Divorce isn't always a bad thing. From my experience, kids do best when their parents are happy and functioning well.

Al - I did a little ESP thing with your Hot Chik wife, and we both agree that an appreciative man is a priceless blessing. Besides, you're a total Hottie!

Chick - Isn't it a horrible feeling to find yourself dependent on others when you're otherwise completely self-sufficient? I cried too, especially when I couldn't take a bath by myself. Even though it's temporary, it makes ya stop and think.

Larry - Very smooth, Babe! And, since you already lived through one of my self-righteous, pre-blog-edited rants related to this subject, that's an especially nice sentiment.

Popeye - Aw Darlin', don'tcha hate when that happens? Good thing we already know you're sweet and charming.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Yoga - It's painful and even guilt-producing. Unfortunately, for too many people it's easier to succumb to victim blaming in an attempt to deny the pain. We hurt others when we fail to appreciate the consequences of circumstantial inequities.

Are you just fronting the food so you can have a shot at boffing the skinny California Chik? A loveable guy like you couldn't possibly be that superficial.

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger Dick the Boomer said...

Thanks Theresa. We all need that sort of level-headed reminder once in awhile of just how fortunate we really are.

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Exemplary behavior is promised to California Chik. I treat women as well as I would want my sister treated.

The Republicans have a monopoly on victim blaming. One wonders how they can live with themselves.

 

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