<< Go Back

Unspoken privilege

During college, a friend observed (quite bluntly), “You have everything. Yet, it’s not enough.”

Beyond the fact that during that period I moped about everything—state of friendships, my natural non-exuberant personality, challenges of my major, etc., I never really quite appreciated the level of privilege I had.

Not only did I end up traditionally straight and cisgender, I grew up in a household with at least one college-educated parent in an upper middle class suburb with high-ranking public schools. I always had a bed and a roof with three meals and quiet environment. My parents had either shifted their work schedules and workload so that there was always a parent around (often to my displeasure as a teenager). Never did I ever had to seek shelter or suffer from hunger or feel unsafe. I had the privilege of declaring hunger strikes. To imagine, to read, and to write. Drugs and alcohol were wholly absent from my childhood. Friendships, despite the few that I had, were relatively of similar type. And in all that, I developed behaviors and motivations for resourcefulness, intellect, and diligence.

What if I had born in a household of divorce and alcoholism? Or learning from the models of laziness and disengagement? What if then? Perhaps I would have turned out the same, better or worse.

Leave a Reply