May 4, 2021
There a many times I remind my kids about the privilege they have – education, a good life, opportunities. They always retort back, saying that I am a party pooper, always trying to take a moralistic view of even the innocuous things in life.
While my kids may think that whatever I say is targeting them, I say it also as a way to humbly remind myself of the privilege I have enjoyed in my life to be in the state I am today.
What I say to my kids and myself is also true for all of us.
Having attained some status, wealth, position, and power, most of us can look in the mirror and say to ourselves – “I have worked so hard. I deserve to be where I am today.”
While it is essential to fuel our self-belief and self-esteem about how good we are, it is also important to recognize that most of us were born into a privilege we may never fully appreciate. We were born into families that took care of us, that gave us good parentage, shelter, education, confidence, and love. Our upbringing allowed us to access opportunities that 90% of the population did not have.
In the 90% population, there are intelligent people who can work harder than anyone else, but many of them will never get to experience what we take for granted. It is important to recognize this privilege we all have and build a sense of humility that reminds us about how fate has also played a good hand in us being where we are today.
There is also another reason to remind ourselves of the privilege. We sometimes tend to judge and think of success as coming only from hard work or intelligence. And, therefore, when we come across someone struggling, we tend judge them for not working hard enough or being smart enough. The truth is never black and white. Not all success comes only from hard work and not all failure is because of lack of hard work. We never get to see what is really happening in someone’s life.
Thinking this way helps me stay grounded and not fall into the trap of unfairly judging someone.
I know I am privileged, and I am grateful for where I am today.