Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Myth of Privilege - Part I

I don't like the term "underprivileged" or "less fortunate" when referring to those who have few resources.

Perhaps my bigger issue is with the terms "privileged" or "fortunate".

They assume something--that there is a connection between the amount of money or stuff that someone has and the quality of life experienced.

How are the "privileged" and "underprivileged" typically defined?  With a pocketbook and a calculator.

And clearly, by using the word "privilege" or "fortunate", there is an assumption that the desired position is the one with the higher account balance.

But that's not really true.

Consider these words from Jesus...
Matthew 19:24 I'll say it again.  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Jesus himself tells us there is something about "privilege" that makes the important things of life much more difficult.  You could say that regarding the really important things in life, like the Kingdom of Heaven, living in "privilege" makes one "less fortunate."

Consider another quote from Jesus...
Luke 6:20 Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Again, when it comes to the really important things in life, like the Kingdom of God, those "less fortunate" are actually in a "privileged" position.

And really,
if the "privileged" are actually "underprivileged"...
and the "less fortunate" are actually "more fortunate"
...then maybe it's time we stop using those terms.

They're just confusing everyone.