Thoughts

Privilege – curse or blessing?

Posted on

I live in a country where I’m able to enjoy the security of free healthcare, free education and a democracy with minimal corruption. For that I’m contributing 40% taxes of my income and I endure long and dark winters. I’d say that’s not the worst deal and even though I’m not loving the winter, I consider myself very privileged. According to the UN’s World Happiness Report I live in the happiest country in the world and if privilege equals happiness, then I would agree. The problem is, I actually don’t agree.

The same way an organization or any kind of group can have a culture that doesn’t necessarily reflect the complete nature of the individual, a country develops a certain culture as a whole; a general atmosphere or collective mindset. In my opinion, that mindset around here has developed into one of privileged ignorance. Sure there are problems here with unemployment and decreasing quality of education, which should be addressed properly in the public debate as well as politically. But then there are other problems being articulated, issues regarding how to protect the country’s wealth from those less deserving i.e the people who needs it the most. It seems there’s a general assumption when it comes to social support; if you really need it, you probably don’t deserve it – doesn’t matter if it’s a refugee or any kind of immigrant or even a native citizen. Why is it that we work so hard to establish a financial comfort zone and then do everything we can to keep others out of it?

It seems that the more people have, the more they forget how it is to have less, and their main focus settles on how to protect what they have while they get more. And when they’re no longer affected by the bigger problems of life, they start bitching about the voting system of Dancing With The Stars. And believe me, that’s a heated debate around here these days.

My intention at this point is not to dissect the whole social system or list all the narrow-minded opinions out there. I’ve just been thinking that it seems the level of privilege doesn’t equal the level of compassion we have for each other. In my mind it would be obvious that the less you have to worry about, the more energy you would have to share; to love; to help the people around you; to spread some happiness, but most of the time it looks like the opposite is more accurate.

So what if privilege doesn’t equal happiness? What if most of the time it just equals an ignorant sense of entitlement, widening the gap between rich and poor, and strengthens them vs. us mentality. Not because people are a**holes but because that’s one of the potential psychological and social effects of privilege.. If the voting system of Dancing With The Stars is your biggest problem, then you’re probably going to confront it with as much force as possible.

Yesterday I did an interview with someone who spend most of his adult life working in war and disaster zones, witnessing horrors unimaginable to most people, and more than once being close to being killed himself. However, what was most vivid in his stories, was the determination he had met to be kind and happy and helpful even in the midst of tragedy, and the gratitude he felt for being able to help; gratitude for his expanded horizon.

Because of my fortunate citizenship I’m able to cut this winter short and travel for a few months, visiting some of the people I love around the world, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I’ve come to take my circumstances for granted, and I don’t know how it would feel to live even a week with the amount of uncertainty that a lot of people endure for the entirety of their lives. But I hope that I at least will continue to let my perspective be challenged, keep my eyes and my heart open, and always let my privilege be a blessing instead of a curse.

As the very wise Nowan Zen just told me (in regards to his impressive amount of wisdom but I think it applies to privilege as well); if it smears like crunchy peanut butter, you gotta spread it.

 

A Thousand Plateaus – an unexpected crush

Posted on Updated on

So, I’m still reading. Today not so much though, since a weird phenomenon has occurred; it feels like something has started spinning in my head. Like literally spinning at high-speed right at the core of my brain. Honestly, it’s a little inconvenient because what I can best describe as the centrifugal force is making me very dizzy, sometimes to the point of actually having to hold on to something not to tilt. Even when I’m already lying down. All day I’ve been pondering this new experience and so far I’ve formed two working theories to guide my further exploration; brain tumor or enlightenment. Possibly both.

Yesterday I finally got started on A Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze and Guattari and I’ve been able to continue for short periods today. That book is brilliant and I’m challenged, inspired, confused, and completely in love.

This is from the very beginning of it:

“… Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as farthest away. We have assigned clever pseudonyms to prevent recognition. Why have we kept our own names? Out of habit, purely out of habit. To make ourselves unrecognizable in turn. To render imperceptible, not ourselves, but what makes us act, feel, and think. Also because it’s nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it’s only a manner of speaking. To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I. We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied.” 

There are plenty of their thoughts that I’m not yet able to fully grasp but still enough for me to grow wings and take off into a reality where being is just an attempt to freeze the constant dynamics of becoming.

So although the dizziness has prevented me from dancing today, the book has enabled me to fly – I think that’s an acceptable trade-off.

Reflection

Posted on Updated on

 

he is no longer you

and you are no longer just one

but an expanding reflection
of what was once perceived

to be just him

 

At peace with what is

Posted on Updated on

                                                     today

                                          every movement is followed by an echo of sadness

                                                        so i move slowly

                                                                        carefully placing one foot

                                                                                                      one thought

                                                                                                                 in front of the other

Potato Potato

Posted on Updated on

I am Love
dressed in a soul
traveling in a human body
sometimes confusing myself
with being a human
contemplating Love

Naked Necessity

Posted on Updated on

it can be scary

exploring new territory

displaying imperfect humanity

letting life unfold

uncontrolled

embracing the unknown

it’s all so very

scary and necessary

Delayed Processing

Posted on Updated on

sometimes on a happy day

a single bubble of buried resentment

rise to the surface

releasing an echo of beautiful words

betrayed

by ignorant actions

until the only word left important

was freedom

sometimes on a happy day

I let go once again

and enjoy my freedom