Michael Kimmel captures i this short video what I have been thinking about/stewing in/pondering and trying to own as much as possible in my own life.
“Privilege is invisible to those that have it.”–Michael Kimmel
I try to own my privilege. I am white.
Some days I feel that is all I have. I am a single mom with no more that $100 in my savings at any given time. I will never own a house, have no RRSP’s, no GIC’s, no credit cards (Get caught frauding VISA and you’re blacklisted for life … geesh 😉 I have never taken my kiddos for a family vacation, I don’t go to the dentist for regular cleanings. (After you buy two kids their glasses, teeth don’t seem as important.) I could go on. To be clear, it’s not even that I particularly want these things, as I see how they can tie people down as much as they can be beneficial … although clean teeth may be good 🙂
What do I have?
Kids. Lots of work, lots of moments that remind me what being alive is all about.
Friends. I think everyone should be as blessed as I am. I have deep, longstanding, love-filled friendships, that challenge me, uplift me and breathe life into me.
Health (relatively). I’ve lived a hard life and it was hard on my body. Poverty is hard on the body … the teeth, the mind, the heart, but still, I’m doing pretty good. Plus, I live in a country where health care is a right, not a privilege, so you can’t go too wrong with that.
Food in my fridge, my rent paid, a few added bonuses from those who love me (like a new computer). 🙂
So ya, I am blessed. Deeply and profoundly blessed. Yet, my kids and I do have needs that lack solutions for and wants that will always remain a dream.
Poverty also makes articles like this seem really true. In fact, I see this lived out constantly.
I had a friend I love deeply–deeeeeeply–say to me the other day as we were talking about life: “You know you can be a little negative.” It was a criticism, or something to that effect, spoken in love with a titch of “Why aren’t you more grateful?” as a side dish.
I told her some days it’s hard. I walk out my front door and I am confronted with need, want and all the ugly side effects of poverty every moment of every day.
I know when she walks out of her front door to her Porsche she isn’t having the same perspective.
To which she said, “I guess we do live in different socio economic situations.”
Privilege is invisible to those that have it.
It’s challenging to identify our privilege, identify those who have less than us and do everything we can to use our privilege to empower them. It’s important that we educate within our circle what issues there are, and always step aside to let others teach from their perspective, their truth and their reality.
What’s your privilege?
Jesus, the most privileged as Son of God and being able to call on Abba whenever he wanted, died for us. Jesus died, also to his privilege. It reminds me to die in some way today … And I wonder: do you?
Trisha Baptie is Executive Director of Honour Consulting and founding member of EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating). In 2008 she won BC’s Courage to Come Back Award for her bravery in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, for giving the murdered women of Vancouver a voice through her trial coverage of Vancouver’s serial killer and for her ongoing activism. Follow Trisha’s tweets at @trisha_baptie or friend her on facebook. She recently founded EVE (formerly Exploited Voices Now Educating.)