The Downfalls And Restrictions Of Privilege
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The Downfalls And Restrictions Of Privilege

And what we should do about it.

17
The Downfalls And Restrictions Of Privilege
Rebecca Miller

About a week ago, as per usual I was sitting on the train after work counting the stops to deter from my boredom. After having a particularly hard day I was mentally famished and just needed to get home and surround myself in comfort and familiarity. This was due to a conversation I had during work that completely changed my perspective on the way people are educated and how this leads them to think and act as a person.

Even though I work with the children who turn into these people, I was taken aback and slightly bewildered at the retoritic and the amount of ignorance in certain statements during this conversation. But I tried to put it aside, as like to see the best in people and understand that some things you should take with a grain of salt, because it does not always define the person.

The main gist of this conversation that I couldn't shake, was the amount of privilege one must be accustomed to, to be able to maintain such skewed perspective on daily life.

I listened to these people drone on and on about how guaranteed they and their friends were to be able to go to top tier schools, because that's just normal and expected when you grow up in an affluent area and attend a top private school (with just slightly above average test scores). They divulged into how many of their peers would claim an ethnic identity that they had a trivial to none amount of, just because of a distant ancestor or the coloration of their skin that leads to assumptions, in order to facilitate their acceptances.

Throughout this conversation, that had entirely changed from what I thought I participating in, I had become a silent observer not relating to and biting my tongue on the amount my views differed from them. When they noticed I blended into the sidelines, in an attempt to include me, they asked about my highschool.

Until that moment I never realized that I could be seen as disadvantaged. My whole life and still now, I know and believe that I am entirely to fortunate and have way more privilege than a lot of America due to my supportive stable family and cute little suburb. But at that moment, (I shouldn't have been, but) I was embarrassed to say I was from Quakertown because I knew these rich Philly kids would not appreciate the same things I do (whoops I judged them too -- it's entirely impossible to be unbiased), and would undoubtedly judge me.

Unfortunately I was right and after listening to comments that made me squirm in my seat, I eventually got up and extracted myself from this attack, just as someone said, "I hate the ignorance of suburban and rural people, because they have too many roads and use their cars way too much and we're all suffering from it".

Excuse you... I guess they missed the lesson on manners as well.

Last time I checked that isn't exactly the most polite thing to say to someone who just told you they live in the suburbs, but okay, understandable when every store and restaurant you need to get to, is in a four block radius from your highrise.

And that ladies and gents is the problem. People shouldn't be discriminated against because they grew up with more than most people can ever dream of, but in the instance, people should be aware that you can't raise your child to think without actually thinking. The smartest and most insightful people are those who can view an issue from every perspective.

Unless you are educated in, and can UNBIASEDLY (not possible) see through the gender lens, socio-economic lens, historical lens, race lens, etc, etc, etc, you should not be commentating on issues that are not yours to discuss. Yes, it's America after all, please voice your opinion, but realize that it must be well rounded and a critical approach to have any value.

For example, if you want to be a vegetarian because you don't like the environmental impact of meat and the way animals are treated, I applaud you for the commitment and morality. BUT refusing to take the boxes and boxes of extra food to give to the homeless once you find out there's chicken in them, and you, "don't want to promote poultry eating,'' (true story) you've absolutely lost it. I don't remember when letting homeless people starve became the better option versus letting them eating leftover chicken that we are going to throw out and waste. But who knows, maybe my opinion is too biased and this person was right; all of the homeless people are going to the supermarket after they taste the specular chicken in our leftover burritos and purchase cage raised chicken and contribute to the downfall of society, my bad.

It just stands to show, that unless a person is exposed to concepts that can provide a disadvantage (gender, race, LGBTQ, economics), in this case poverty and/or food insecurity on a personal level, most people won't understand the magnitude of the situation even with the hundreds of homeless people down their block.

With this in mind, I just want more people to be aware of this issue of privilege, not to point fingers and assign blame because most people can't help it, but just know and try to fix, that even the most educated people might be blinded and/or ignorant to a majority of problems or lifestyles of our population.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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