There is No White Privilege or Black Privilege – We Have the Privilege of Being Americans and Should be Grateful | Charles Stouff
Editor’s Note: Lancaster-blog welcomes a conversation from all voices, and we’re finding more and more talented opinion writers across Lancaster County and Central PA. Send your submissions to [email protected]
By Charles Stouff
Growing up in the 80s, I never really considered myself privileged. Being raised by a single mom, the two of us lived in a very modest little trailer, nestled behind a Mennonite school.
Although we didn’t have much expendable income, I always had a warm bed and a belly full of food. My mom often reminds me that I ate most of our expendable income.
As I step back from my life and reflect over an almost half century of existence, I see nothing but privilege. My privilege first began with being born in the most free and prosperous nation in the history of the world.
A privilege that has allowed me to speak my mind.
A privilege that never infringed upon my pursuit in seeking the Kingdom of God. This privilege has found me surrounded by opportunity.
A privilege that affords me the ability to relentlessly pursue passions and dreams.
A privilege to have had family members who love me and friends who encourage me.
A privilege to have the breath in my lungs that awaken me every morning with the opportunity to experience another day.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that all of us experience privilege to varying degrees. Maybe the question that we should be asking ourselves is, “What is our attitude towards our privilege?”
Some people are so focused on pointing out the privileges of others that they become blind to the privileges they have been afforded. They become dissatisfied with their lives and resentful of others around them.
This attitude leads to despair and stagnates their potential. Others see their privilege as evidence of their superiority over those without.
Their privileges fuel a false sense of pride and causes them to walk through life under the delusion that they are somehow better than others.
These two attitudes are a part of the exact same problem that exists within our society today.
The truth is that no one is entitled to any of the privileges that have been so gracefully afforded us. We did nothing to earn them.
When you wake up every morning understanding this truth, you begin to live your life with the attitude of “gratefulness”.
A grateful heart treats those around them with love and respect regardless of who the other person is.
More than ever before our society could use more grateful people who view privileges as gifts instead of entitlements.
Charles Stouff is a regular contributor to Lancaster-blog and lives in Pequea, Martic Township