Thoughts On Privilege And Power

I want to do better. I want to be more grateful, more aware, and generally more accepting of the many blessings I get each day. Firstly, I’m thankful for my dad. I am, even now, still struggling with my relationship with him, but I realize that without him I would not be who I am today. I wouldn’t be as mentally strong or nearly as durable nor would I be as goal-oriented or determined. Our relationship has been rough, but without him and the pressure that he has put on me, I would never have become the diamond that I am. I need to remember that. God knew what He was doing and I’m grateful for that. 

Secondly, I am aware of my immense privilege. Too often I catch myself ignoring things that I’ve been given and that I’ve been lucky enough to come across. I catch myself thinking that because I am black and because I am female, I know struggle. I don't, not really. The best I can do is listen to those who do, and empathize, but there are things I will never be able to truly understand. 

I am intelligent. I have never known what it's like to feel lost, regardless of how hard I try. If there was ever something that I didn’t understand, it wasn't because I didn't have the opportunity to learn or because I didn't have the capacity to grasp the subject. I just didn’t spend the time I needed to completely understand it. I was either too lazy or had something higher on my priority list. 

I am well-spoken and charming. I've never had to know what it was like for a teacher or person of authority to dislike me for one reason or another, especially to the point of it impacting my current or future opportunities. 

I am (adequately) attractive. That is to say, I don't have any physical traits that have negatively impacted me socially speaking. I have never been laughed at or rudely rejected by an individual or by a group because of how I look. That's not to say that I have never been rejected or that I don't have flaws, but I've never been humiliated or made to feel inferior because of how I look.

I am able-bodied. I don’t have to worry about my ability of traveling from point A to point B in addition to any other daily concerns that I may have. These are all things that I am ashamed to say that I have taken advantage of, some more so than others. I am blessed. I am privileged. 

While everyone has hard days when her self worth isn’t where it should be or when she needs to unload all of the shitty feelings that have been simmering day in and day out, I don’t want to be the person that dwells and I think that that is who I’ve started to become. When some one asks how I’m doing, I want to smile and say “I’m doing well. Thank you! How are you?” I don’t want to use that moment as an excuse to wallow in my self pity. I want to reflect on myself and deal with whatever demons I may have, but I also want to be there for those around me as they deal with theirs. I want to do better. I will do better.

IdentityAmber S.