This morning, when I brushed my teeth, shaved my neck and cheeks and took a shower, I used more water than many around the world have in a week.
For some reason, I have had a growing awareness of my privilege. And it is a troubling experience.
I'm 68 years old and never in my life have I wanted for much of anything. And I've never lived in fear. I've always known where my next meal is coming from...or some meal months in the future. I've always been able to drink tap water with no concerns. We don't lock our doors except when we're away for several days. I just assume I'll be as safe and free tomorrow as I've always been.
The list could go on and on--I am privileged and safe and secure in a way most people on the earth aren't. It is a sobering thought--'why me?'
I hear politicians take my privilege for granted and see it as an example as 'American Exceptionalism'--we simple 'deserve' what we've got that so many don't.
I'm profoundly troubled by the divides around the world and in my own community.
It was a commercial on TV that advised not to let the water run while you brush your teeth that prompted all this introspection.
I don't remember who paid for the ad, but it pointed out how many of the world's people spend vast amounts of time walking miles to get water for their families.
That message got inside my skin and mind and heart.
How blessed and privileged I am! And the question is 'why?'
I'm not sure there is a reason besides the luck of my being born in the US to hard working parents who believed absolutely in education.
And I'm as yet not sure what to do about my sudden insight into how inexplicably blessed I am.
I'll start with this: being always, every moment, grateful for my life and to be more compassionate toward everyone.
I hope I'll be led to add to that response. But I know this and know it fare well--I will never again, not ever, take my privilege/luck/good fortune/blessedness for granted.
(And you shouldn't either...by the way. Maybe that's another part of my response to the sudden, intuitive knowledge of how blessed I've been--I'll remind others of their blessings....)
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