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The Privilege of Being Privileged

Posted on April 12, 2019 at 3:45 PM

The Privilege of Being Privileged

by Cindy Crenshaw

Privilege is defined by Mirriam-Webster as "a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor" or "to accord a higher value or superior position to or privilege one mode of discourse over another". 

Last week in church, our pastor showed the video attached to this blog. The idea is for us to recognize that every person has a story - and each one doesn't always look like our own!

When I was in the fifth grade, I found it very difficult to make friends at my new school. However, there was a girl (I'll call her Lisa) that quickly became my best friend. One problem: my mother did not approve! Lisa's family used drugs - mine didn't. Her family abused alcohol - mine didn't. Her family had a reputation for violence - mine didn't. Her family had been in trouble with the law - mine hadn't. 

A precedent had been set by my mother and though I had no understanding of it at the time, I was privileged to have been raised in a different environment than Lisa. Most of the time we think of privilege being driven from social status, financial background, or perhaps our schooling. I'm not sure what the case was for Lisa's family. But, today I am certain that simple choices can sometimes determine how "privileged" we become. My would-be friend is now in prison awaiting parole. I am not. 

Because we are born into our circumstances, it is hard to predetermine our level of privilege. But, in this world of "entitlement", where we expect that the world owes us a favor ... let us not forget that we all began with a breath from God Almighty - and we will all end (physically) by taking one last breath given by the same God. In the meantime, God help us to LOVE our neighbor as ourselves - regardless of what kind of car they drive, or what street they live on, or the balace in their checking account. 

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  Matthew 22:37-39

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