Privilege

What do I associate with it? I usually touch the wide subject of health when writing. But here I am- sitting in an air conditioned tour bus- visiting the sites of India. Fast back couple of weeks ago: I saw a documentary by Chelsea Handler called: “Hello white privilege my name is Chelsea”. I understood for the first time what people of color mean when they say they are tired of white people asking them for guidance when it comes to reducing racism, appropriation and unjusts in this world. Arround the same time I started listening to the audiobook: “Get out of your mind and into your life”. It is a selfhelp book- an attempt on my part to rid myself of low self worth, low self esteem, a disturbed body image and anxious thought patterns. What started as an attempt to help myself, turned within two chapters into the realization how much of my focus is on myself. I suddenly for the first time understood what it means to have white privilege. There are people in this world with real struggle- real hardships- and here I am listening yet to another selfhelp book because I can’t bear the burdens of my existence. Selfpittying myself- complaining and ungrateful for it all. I would love to tell you that I did take action after that realization but the truth is that I just continued my life as usual. And soon enough my mind focused on itself again- trapped in the same cycle of selfpitty- unable to be greatful for the privileged life I have.

This brings me to today. I’m sitting in a bus that brings me from Agra to New Delhi. I’ve seen a lot during the past few days- driven past shanti towns, ignored relentless merchandise sellers on the street, and left begging children empty handed. Although I felt bad for those fellow human beings I never lost my composure-up untill today that is. Street merchandise sellers are always crowding our bus while we wait for the bus to get going. Although these merchandise sellers are relentless and sometimes even agressive, I always understood why they are doing it. It’s their means to survive and make a living. As I watched them, holding up their merchandise- in the hopes that one of our group members would want to buy one of their items- I locked eyes with one of the sellers and wasn’t prepared for the look on his face. His eyes were desperate and pleading. It shook me up. My heart flooded with emotions- I wanted to buy the items he was holding up off his hands. It all happened quickly. The bus started driving and my husband not understanding what has happened discouraged me. And against my own heart’s better judgment I didn’t act on my impulse to buy the merchandise nor even trying to attempt to explain why I wanted to buy them. I didn’t speak up. It broke my heart and my eyes still flood with tears when thinking about it. The possibility to act in that specific moment has long passed now. But the nagging voice to do good and help people that do not have the same privileges in life as me is louder than ever. I need to start taking real actions that impact the lives of others less fortunate than me. This thought has been in my mind for a long time but to this date I haven’t been able to figure out how to do that. I’ve shyed away from it when ever even the thought of attempting it came to my mind. I’ve waisted enough time pitting myself and finding excuses. It’s time to use the privilege given to me for the good of others.

The time to act is now.

I will have to do some research in order to find causes that I can support. Please comment and let me know what causes you support or if you know of any good causes that need supporting.

I’ll be keeping you updated.

Thank you.

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