Questions For the Resilient – What is my healthy embrace of privilege?

This is a loaded question that will probably bring out a lot of emotion and opinions, and needs to be danced with in a sober manner in order to approach it properly.

I think that you could go almost anywhere in the world and find that privilege is an uncomfortable topic. But it can be so transformational if we ponder this question with the right perspective.

There are 4 important things to keep in mind when you approach this topic:

what is my healthy embrace of privilege?

To understand this question fully, it is important to go back to the building blocks of success. Many of us see successful people and wonder how they made it, and many of us might consider ourselves to be successful people in our own right. And we certainly don’t want to ignore the efforts people have taken in order to be successful, in fact the more people that achieve their goals, the more hope we create for everyone else. 

The most common building blocks found for success are:

  1. Hard work

  2. Utilised talent

  3. Strong networks. Seldom do we achieve alone. Often do we achieve together.

  4. Opportunity

With points 3 & 4 privilege plays a big role, because privilege is often the thing that allows us to meet people and make networks. It also more often than not provides you with opportunity you may not have had without a certain privilege.

South Africa say 20 or so years ago, many of the decision makers made choices definitively based around your gender, race, background of stability, education, sexual orientation, and even religion. You still see this today, but not as potently as then.

So, what do we mean by embracing privilege?

First and foremost, it is important to acknowledge from a place of humility and gratitude the privileges that you have in your life. Not a place of guilt, shame or pride.
Secondly, acknowledge that others have suffered in ways that we cannot understand.
Thirdly where you find yourself in a less opportunistic world, always appreciate and utilise what little you have.

Where you have been given much, ask how you can now positively give from your place of abundance to your family, to the society and to the world beyond? We don’t want to shame privilege, we want to redirect it to good spaces that may even hold the power to change the world. 

Privilege is not only money based. People could be privileged in many various ways. So sharing your privilege could be financially investing into others who have a need, sharing of knowledge, sharing your networks and connections, sharing your time and sharing through your talents that might simply bring joy to another.

Something powerful happens when we share with others the blessings we have. In fact, helping others can create a beautiful and deep sense of purpose. Many of us have much. Many of us have little. What are we going to do with the much and the little that we have in our hands?





Gabriella Ivey 

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