As I was not born a rich man I just don’t know the answer to this question. As I was not born in a tyrannical form of government I just don’t know the answer to this question. As I was not born a minority in my own country I just don’t know the answer to this question. As I was not born a woman I just don’t know the answer to this question. There are clearly a lot of questions that I just don’t know the answer to. I do know that I was born in America. I do know that I was born into a middle-class family in America. I do know that I was born a white male in America. I do know, once I grew up, I was heterosexual. I acknowledge right now that I am part of the most privileged clique in America: white, male, heterosexual. Through much research, my father, also part of the most privileged click in America, has discovered that we have ancestors who signed the declaration of independence, the constitution, and up to five United States presidents. As honorary as that may be, we also have a legacy in our history that is not so shiny. One of our ancestors can be attributed to encouraging slavery in the United States. I would not suggest I am to be naïve enough to suggest that slavery wasn’t going on in the United States, but without his support, the history of slavery in the United States may not have been so predominant. Maybe there wouldn’t be the racial strife that still exists currently, maybe there wouldn’t have been such a scar on our country’s history. I can play the “Maybe“ and “If this, then that“ all day long and I’m going to be perfectly honest with you even though I acknowledge that I am part of the most privileged group in the United States I’m not ashamed for my ancestors or who I am. I work hard to achieve what I can achieve. I do what I can to be helpful to others and ask uncomfortable questions to try and get people to explore difficult parts of their own personal history. The question I wonder is if others ask why was I born as who I am (wealthy, poor, into an oppressive society, a minority, a woman), I know I am pleased to be who I am, but I wonder why I was blessed with what I have and hope to share my skills, abilities, and self to work for others gain.
I do often wonder, when I try and put myself in other people‘s positions, what I would do and how I would feel if I were born in a country where I was disenfranchised. What if I was born in a country where it was unsafe for myself and my family, would I attempt to find a safer location for myself and my family to live, and would I be wrong to do so? As much as I might think about this query I cannot come up with a solution. I know what I would want to think I would do. I know what I hope I would do in such a situation. I know what I dream my constitution would be to survive in such conditions. I think of myself as an intelligent person and I try to be as honest and introspective as possible; this is why I have no solution to this dilemma. I am infected. The infection I carry is having been privileged with the freedoms and ignorance that grow within the conscience and soul of the American population. I am permitted to look into this topic with knowledge of viewing things from my intelligent perspective and not having lived in putrescent poverty I cannot possibly understand what I would impede or excel in my quest for the advancement of myself or family. What can I do?
What if because of the religion that I was brought up to believe in I was persecuted in my own country, how would I respond to this? What if I were a rich man, would I be as gracious, helpful to others, and willing to try and make people question themselves? I know what I would like to think I would do, but if I were a rich man would I have the same outlook on life as my life has shaped my views; I think not.
I’m sorry to say that this post has a lot of questions. My goal is that others will gain the same questions and try to solve these questions for themselves. My hope is that others will be encouraged the share themselves to help others who were not born with the station in which they were. Hopeful dreams; the last question is what can you do to set your own goals and personal benefits aside to help others?