Without a doubt, I am one of the privileged.
I sit here in my Ivory Tower (Okay, it’s red brick, but whatever…) looking out at the angry grey/black, white capped waves, as they crash over and over, the ‘pebbled’ beach (They are known as ‘rocks’ in other places, but here they are pebbles).
With each wave that comes, I hear the pebbles screaming; they have no choice but to roll with the violent battering that they are receiving. It sounds as rhythmic as a ticking clock or the beating of a heart, but more invasive, more vicious and definitely more damaging. The poor pebbles don’t have a chance in hell.
I can’t help but think that this is what’s happening in our world today.
We are getting pummelled by angry, merciless waves that just keep hitting us, over and over again. Each time we try to get up or take a breath, another wave comes and knocks us off our feet.
Fires, earthquakes, volcanos, murder hornets, floods, a global pandemic, financial crises, worldwide Covid cases over 46 million, unarmed black men (and women) continually shot by police, 1.2 million dead from Covid, Presidents Gone Wild, lockdowns, furloughs, layoffs, racism, nationalism, sexism, antisemitism! The whole world’s gone crazy!
Everywhere I turn, we are being beaten to a pulp.
And then I remember…
Oh, not me… I’m one of the privileged.
Call it fortune, fate, karma, kismet, serendipity, whatever… but really, I have pretty much been unaffected by all of these global catastrophes.
Oh sure, I have had to stay in the house for periods of time, during lockdown (like everyone else) and I have to be especially careful about NOT getting Covid, because of my autoimmune illnesses. I can’t go to the grocery store, and have to have my weekly groceries delivered to my door (Shhhhh, this one is really a blessing in disguise!), but other than a few minor inconveniences, my life has gone on, pretty much as planned and as normal.
I live on a fixed income, which is secure and steady. I have a roof (a pretty nice roof) over my head, my groceries (and some luxury items) are delivered to my door, and I have all the comforts anyone could really want or need.
I am, as I have said… privileged.
There’s no worrying about losing my job, paying my rent/mortgage, feeding my kids, or getting evicted.
I don’t live in a refugee camp and don’t have to worry about drugs, rape, violence, or obtaining safe drinking water or food.
My home has not been totally washed away, or burnt to the ground, by a natural catastrophe taking with it, all of my worldly belongings.
I am not black, so the chances of me getting shot by a policeman, in the street while running for a bus, or taking my phone out of my pocket, are slim to none.
Although it’s still my country (at heart), I don’t have to deal with the day to day deranged, demented, unhinged, lunatic decisions of a certain President.
My children are not being taken from me and put in cages, hundreds of miles from where I am imprisoned; because I tried to create a better life for them.
I am not persecuted (or killed) for my religious beliefs.
As a hetrosexual, my lifestyle is widely accepted and I am not victimised or oppressed.
I have the right to vote, the right to my opinions and the right to speak my mind.
The country I currently live in has its own issues, but my choices for a better life are not limited to getting on a raft and risking the lives of my family members, in hopes of finding a better life for them.
If I were to get Covid-19, I live in a country where I would be given a very high standard of care, for FREE; I would not have to deal with being desperately ill and having to worry about an enormous hospital bill. (And I am NOT even a citizen of this country!…although I do pay taxes.)
Being white, affords me MANY obvious and obscure opportunities and privileges that are just not available to people of colour.
I don’t pay for any of my medications or prescriptions because they are free to me, as an over 65 resident and taxpayer.
My quality of life is good.
I generally feel safe and protected in my environment, and rarely feel fear or intimidation.
As I look at the waves battering the pebbles… I know I have it made. I am privileged.
I see the woes of the world and I empathise… my heart aches when I see the pain, disparity and suffering and I can but weep. I weep in gratitude. I weep in thankfulness. I weep wishing I could just make it stop.
…but I won’t give up. I’ll continue facing the world and all of its desperation and tribulations, and continue to do whatever I can do to help.
And the next time I fall into a “poor, poor pitiful me,” rut… I will kick myself in the ass and take a good, hard look at my real world. Yes, my white, middle class, financially sound, Ivory Tower, privileged world, and I’ll shut the fuck up.