It is a privilege for me to write this column. Privilege gives me the opportunity to express views and political ideologies that may not always be popular among readers of this paper. I acknowledge the privilege by researching solutions to today’s
Privilege is a human construct that simultaneously unites and divides us. It is defined as a “special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” Privilege can be related to socioeconomic status, geographical region, ethnic or racial background, and religious beliefs. There are varying degrees of privilege within each of these categories. Often we do not even recognize what a privileged life we lead, and we take our privileges for granted without even knowing it. It may even be considered a privilege to be able to take these things for granted. I recently had a conversation with a custodian at an airport. He expressed appreciation for simply having another day on this Earth. He swept up the garbage with a smile. He said every day is a great
Money does give us privilege. Those who have grown up wealthy expect privileges that most of us do not even think of. They take first-class flights or maybe own their own planes. They eat filet mignon steaks and caviar without a thought about the money to pay for them. They expect white-glove service at fancy hotels, dress shops
Where we live is a privilege. Here in West Virginia, we have the privilege of waking up daily to landscapes of trees, rivers
Racial and cultural identities offer privileges to many. It is a privilege to fly a Confederate flag, despite the racial controversies that surround it. The privileges offered to white people are ingrained
Why discuss this concept of what a privileged life we lead? Privilege is power. We are exposed daily to the growing darkness of power that takes away necessary privileges for those who are less fortunate. Reduced environmental regulations destroy the privileges of enjoying clean water and the beautiful outdoors. Taking away funding for programs for the less fortunate denies privileges to needy people. Putting this power into the hands of the most privileged takes privileges away from others. We must consider how privileged we are. We must appreciate our privilege. We must not allow the power of privilege to overtake the basic privilege of life on this Earth. Those who are more privileged than others should recognize their advantages and rather than use them to the detriment of others, wield that power for the betterment of all.