Identifying Our Privilege (& Then Using It Well)

The first time somebody told me I was a privileged person, I felt defensive and white privilege cardembarrassed.  You think I’m privileged?  

But the truth is that I am. My skin is white.  My heritage is European.  My citizenship is of the United States of America.

My education level is among the highest in the world.  I have a home, and that home has central AC and a dishwasher.  We have a guest room.  And two cars.  We get a vacation (or two) every year.  And we’ve been able to give our kids braces and college educations.  We all have health insurance.

I am rich.  Not 1% rich, but richer than most of my global brothers and sisters. So, yes, I am quite privileged.  What am I going to do about it?

Perhaps you saw this video.  (Go ahead & watch it if you missed it last week.)  It occurs to me that part of our spiritual practices must include using our privilege well:

  • If we are white in a white majority world, we must step in when people of color are being offended.
  • If we are employed, we must advocate for the unemployed.
  • If we are educated, we must seek education for those without access to strong primary and secondary schools, much less access to college.
  • If we have homes, we have got to notice the homeless.
  • If we have health, we have the strength to support the physically and mentally weak.

It seems sinful to ignore those who live without our particular privileges.

It seems holy to notice those who need supporters/champions/spokespersons and stand alongside them.  Picture Jesus hanging out with the woman at the well, the tax collector, the leper.

Privilege can be an advantage that separates people.  Or it can be a tool for bringing people closer together.  We get to decide which path to take every day.

Image Source.

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One response to “Identifying Our Privilege (& Then Using It Well)

  1. Pingback: Jan Edmiston: Identifying Our Privilege (&...

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