What is Privilege?

Privilege, what comes to your mind when you hear that word or privileged? To me it’s the roof over my head, the food in my tummy, clean water, and the love that surrounds me. Cheesy right? but so true. You know what else is true? I feel privileged to BREATHE, you know not everyone has the privilege of even breathing normal every day. People who have chronic asthma, asthma in general or any kind of breathing problem! Usually when you hear the word privilege or privileged, it’s when a certain person is given something or given a right specific to them.

I cannot be the only person on this planet who is privileged for the little things in life?! My friends, my family, my health (what little I have right now!) but I still have it! If you’re wondering what sparked this article? I’m about to tell you. I owe thanks to a certain individuals pride, arrogance and his ego. Keep in mind whilst reading, we are all human and at one point we have all known someone if it’s not ourselves, that has had nothing. I know some families who had absolutely nothing but the clothes on their backs, they were some of the most privileged people I knew.

In life it’s crucial that we accept the fact some people need extra help, if it’s ourselves or our friends or family it doesn’t matter. The only thing that should matter is that everyone is receiving the help they need yeah? Clearly not the case for some people. Last night I gave advice to a friend that I thought was suiting, due to it being her personal circumstances I’m not going into it. However, what I will go into is what was said about me. I’m 20 years old and I live in a flat with my older sister.

It was a brand new build and we got to move in as soon as they were done building, the street is beautiful and the neighbours are friendly. I felt privileged. It’s not every day you get a phone call offering you a brand new flat after 2 years of being grilled about your personal home life. Technically yes it is a flat but it’s our home, it’s where we live, where I write and study from and it’s where both my sister and I lay our heads at night. We have a roof over our head! so what most of our money goes towards bills, food and more bills. Its LIFE! NOBODY can get away from it. Unless of course you’re perfectly happy living off of other people? I sure as hell wasn’t.

The arrogance from this person because I had to get help with my rent? I’m sorry but certain procedures are put into place to HELP people. WHY do certain individuals think that these PRIVILEGES are just handed out? They are not. You are tested, you are grilled and you have to prove your circumstances. If I wasn’t entitled I wouldn’t get it, it’s as simple as that. Yeah the criteria absolutely sucks and sometimes people who are entitled don’t always receive, but that’s not the fault of other innocent people. Under no circumstances did this individual have the right to judge me! ‘I doubt she’s jumping out of bed in the morning and thinks let’s go buy a new car’ HONEY, the first thing on my mind in the morning is FOOD not a fucking car!

The next quote of his was my favourite. ‘ I doubt she’s living a very privilege life’ YES I AM. I am beyond grateful for the help and support I’ve been given, am I aware there are people who abuse the system? Yes. Am I one of them? No I am not. I worked full time jobs since I left high school at 15, I was working with my aunty helping her at 14, I went to college whilst working full time and taking on extra work. I lost everything. My mental health got the better of me and my life crashed, I couldn’t live under the same roof as my mother anymore. I love her more than anything but we clashed so much that I was terrified of hurting her. I did what I had to do, I moved out at 17. Every last penny I had went into my house. You know what I gained? My life. My independence. My freedom.

Materialistic items that are a privilege can always be taken away. Your house, your fancy cars, everything can be taken. What can’t be taken? A pure heart of someone who has worked for everything they have. Someone who truly knows what its like to be privileged. It has many meanings but this one is raw, it’s pure and it’s the meaning more of us should be aware of. Did I also mention it’s apparently a dead end to live in a flat? Some of my best memories were made in this flat. My sisters and I have built our relationships and our friendships in this flat, I’ve cried and I’ve laughed in this flat. This is my home and I am privileged. We were not all born with silver spoons in our mouth, we were not all born with relatives who had money flying out of their ears and we were not all raised to believe that people who receive help are below us. They aren’t.

‘Why do people work dead end jobs?’ Firstly, these ‘dead end jobs’ pay the wages of the workers who use the money to pay their bills, to feed their families and to keep the roof over their head. It is not a privilege to get everything handed to you, it is a privilege that you have money to spare to put towards more expensive items. These expensive items are not crucial to every day life, are you still breathing if you don’t have that fancy car? Are you still breathing if you can’t have lobster for dinner every night? Are you still breathing if at the end of the day you only have enough money for the essentials? Life in itself is a privilege. Also can someone tell me what a dead end job even is? Every job out there has a purpose, without it there is always something else that wouldn’t work. Cleaners? Receptionists? Bin men? Post men? What is a dead end job. A job is a job!

My biggest privilege of all? I’m alive to this day when I didn’t think I would be. You can try and be arrogant towards me, you can turn your nose up at me and try to make me feel like I’m any less of a human than you are. It won’t work because we are all human, we all bleed and all of our shit stinks!! Also fancy cars and fancy houses are not privileges they are luxuries. Embrace the life you have, do not ever compare yourself to others and do not ever take your life for granted. What we have in our lives there is always going to be someone wishing they had it. We have all wished for the big fancy life style but there is nothing wrong with the simple one.

There is no such thing as a dead end, just a new beginning. Are you privileged? OX






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