Privilege

“Why are these people successful?” asked a trainer at an event about financial responsibility that I was helping out at. “It’s because they are rich!” one of the students in my group shouted.  I didn’t respond to it at the time but in my heart I secretly agreed with him. At least one or two out of the examples given of successful people had opportunities to follow their passions and at least one was fortunate enough to be sent overseas to educate himself.

While not a prerequisite for success, and also not to denigrate the local education system, for better or for worse having opportunities such as those have given them a better chance of succeeding over those who don’t. And it saddens me that this boy at his age has already noticed a disparity in his current situation with others and coming from less than ideal conditions, seeing people with more supportive family backgrounds or the opportunity to go overseas to study seem like luxuries compared to his meager background.

“It’s because they are rich!”

Privilege is not something most of us notice. We try to treat people as though we are equals but that’s not necessarily true. Our perspectives are different and even at times skewed. We have a tendency to speak about how tough our lives are compared to others because for some reason we feel a sense of perverse joy from knowing that we’ve had it worse off than others. In some ways, reassuring ourselves that our struggles are worth it.

And people tend to be accommodating, being nice and agreeing with you. Reinforcing within yourself that you’ve somehow overcome some great challenge and pat yourself on the back before the next pity party. As such, similar to how we get bored with our new phones after a while, we start exaggerating our situations to get a bigger response in the future and lose touch of what we actually have.

It’s not that people who are in a more privileged position bad people and that people who have less are automatically saints. It’s not good to pigeon-hole whole groups of people into stereotypes. This is more of a reflection to myself to listen more and judge less. To be grateful for the opportunities I have and work harder to attain those that are out of my reach. And I hope that I can sincerely pass on this message to the kids that I meet in the future, that while yes, others might have had better circumstances to mold them but it doesn’t mean they have to be hardened to the world and be more optimistic about their own futures and work hard for it.

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Finger Stretches – 12/4/2017

Now that the warm-up lap is over. It’s time to get down to business. Taking a look at my output on this blog over the past… 8 years. I will admit that I’m really disappointed with myself. The quantity isn’t really there and on top of that, I don’t think that I’ve really managed to break out of the shell that I’ve encased myself in.

So what’s my plan to help myself break out? I’ve theorized that I think too much and because of that I’ve decided that as the rain starts to pour outside the window behind me, I would like to just start doing a stream of consciousness type of writing.

In case there are some readers who aren’t sure what that means, while I’m not a 100% sure of the definition, it’s more that I write whatever comes to mind. And not try to censor myself or be my usual conscientious self and start editing before I finish. I think even when I’m done I would just hit the publish button and not take a second look back.

As someone who is so critical of his own writing and any creative endeavor that I partake in. It’s good to just let the self criticism take a back seat and just do. It’s also interesting to see what I gravitate to, I feel it’ll be something regarding how things work or the process itself. It would be rare but not entirely impossible that I would delve into some sort of fantasy writing someday.

Being able to crack the wall and allow a tiny trickle to flow out is also beneficial to what I want to do with online streams and podcasts as well. While there is still the worry that I might start shooting myself in the foot for saying something that is so out there and counter culture especially in an outrage prone internet age. It will be a risk that I have to attempt or even dive headfirst into.