Questioning Privilege

Once in a while I am forced to accept that one of my superpowers is that of creating comfortable spaces for people to be. To laugh, cry, vent and/or just pour their hearts out. Of course I do consider this a privilege bestowed on me.

However, there are days when this privilege weighs on me. This happens on days when all I have to offer the world is a strong exterior to shield my ever soft interior. Officially these are the days, which the best decision to make would be to stay in bed, and if I really must be optimist, hope to cry into my company a loved one to just hold me.

Recently I had one such day. Against all odds I got out of bed and went to work, where later in the day I also had to avail my superpowers. I felt like crap because I had to acknowledge there was a reason for not staying in bed, but also because I didn’t feel entitled to the sombre feelings that made it difficult to get out of bed.

In part, because of the conversation I had while availing my superpowers, I felt exactly how I felt when my mother was in hospital and I was called to question my love for her. I saw no problems with her being in a public hospital, despite its poor reputation of care. One of the reasons was that I trusted with all my being that she will have the best care—given she was part of the health sector and also a health professional in the very hospital in question. So unabashedly, I held on to that trust despite everything else and in full knowledge that some other families had no such trust. For me, it was the latter that was more problematic to my being. It really was battling with privilege at a whole new level: privilege only by extreme comparison.

In what world should one have to feel comfortable by the idea that their own loved one will receive the best care on the basis of who they are? Is this really a fair and a just world?

The above questions asked from a vantage point of privilege can be tormenting. More so, on the dark days when one shouldn’t be dealing with the complexities of life. And it is simply not kosher to ask: do I, as a being, have the right to want to feel, just for a day, vulnerable? That is, suspend the long term view on life and simply focus on the short term needs that make me human…why does a sense of privilege make this a tall order to ask?

Hopefully, one day I will have the answers to my questions. Today, I shall simply take comfort in knowing that my ability to question privilege may just be what I need to live a properly examined life, where each day the battle becomes one of being while also letting others to be.


3 thoughts on “Questioning Privilege

  1. It’s sad that sometimes only the privileged and a few in many instances, gain an unfair advantage over others. Often we question privilege when we’re not at the receiving end. It’s only humane when given privilege to feel empathetic towards those who may be less fortunate at the time.

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