An Open Letter To Myself
What is privilege? Who is a privileged person?
Before going anywhere else, I am the one who tops my list.
My parents fed me well. They educated me. They vaccinated me. They completed my wishes without much ado. I didn’t work in a tea stall at the age of 8 so that my family doesn’t sleep hungry. In contrary to it, I have wasted food because its taste didn’t interest me.
I have had a comfortable life growing up which is a great fortune. I am privileged.
On my way back home from Batla house, I noticed families after families sleeping on the footpath. They shared a blanket that I would use to clean the floor and the whole group of mosquitoes were hovering around them. There could be rats underneath them. In fact, there were a lot of potential hazards that they were vulnerable to as they slept without a roof atop their head and without the gift I got without earning. It is called privilege.
These people aren’t privileged. But, I am.
As I type this on a laptop in my study in an air-conditioned room with a hot cup of tea on my desk, my room is full of things that I purchased but didn’t use to its full utility.
For the starters, I recently got a mechanical keyboard with lightening keys but I stopped using it after a week.
I have been planning to buy a printer—that I surely don’t need at all—and the thought of it didn’t scare me.
Privilege makes us forgetful of other’s pain. It makes us ruthless, unkind, and unsympathetic. It’s sort of a play that makes us escape reality.
I always recall what Uncle Benn told to Peter Parker before he was shot dead. “With great power comes great responsibility”. Peter never became a Spiderman that Uncle Benn wouldn’t want him to be.
There is nothing wrong in being privileged. There is definitely a lot of wrong in not understanding the responsibility that comes with it. It slowly makes you lose your humanity.
PS~ I gave up the idea of buying the printer.