2017-07-13 / Editorial

I’m privileged…blame my parents’ hard work

My Thoughts
By Krista Tacey-Cater

“You live with 57 out of 100 points of privilege. You’re quite privileged. You’ve had a few struggles, but overall your life has been far easier than most. This is not a bad thing, nor is it something to be ashamed of. But you should be aware of your advantages and work to help others who don’t have them. Thank you for checking your privilege.”

While checking my Facebook feed not too long ago, I came across a checklist that would supposedly determine how privileged I am and apparently I’m “quite privileged.”

I know for a fact that my life has been pretty easy, but I’ve never thought of myself as privileged. Privileged to me is having no student loans, not worrying about money, never having a job and having parents or grandparents who provide all financial support.

Some of the checklist items that pertained to me were out of my control, like being white and not disabled. Other privilege points were gained by never being homeless, never going to bed hungry and having two married and alive parents. These points go back to having a family that worked hard for me.

Then I Googled more signs of being privileged and one of the most surprising signs of having privilege I found was owning more than 50 books as a child. I had hundreds of books growing up and have always thought it was completely normal. I had a mess of books as a child, mostly because I struggled with reading. It was so bad that my parents had hired a reading tutor for an entire summer, my mother worked every day with me to improve my comprehension and insisted I repeat the first grade to get on track.

I thought about my privilege and realized that the reason I have 57 privilege points is by chance, genetics, personal choices or because I came from a supportive family who worked hard to ensure that I was in a position to have success. Yup, I had a mess of books growing up, but that’s because my mom wanted me to succeed. I graduated from both high school and college, but again that goes back to having a family who supported and made sacrifices to ensure that higher education was obtainable.

Am I privileged? Probably…but I can thank my parents, grandparents and my husband, Jason, for giving me the tools to live a life that allowed me to get some of those privilege points. I’m sure that if my parents finished the checklist at my age, they would not have scored as high as I did and I’m pretty sure that my son will score higher than me later in life. It’s part of the American Dream that the next generation lives a better life than the previous. I hope my son does have a certain amount of privilege in the form of education and growing up in a supportive family, but not so much that he isn’t gracious, humble or caring.

Look around and see what you have, it’s probably because of your parents and family.

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