Thursday, July 5, 2012
Examining my "unexamined privilege"
The phrase in quotes above is from my UU minister, Mark Bellitini. It stuck with me and has been speaking to me for seven days now, during which we have had no electricity or Internet at home, and there's been a heat advisory every day. We can light our gas stove with a match and cook, but it's too hot to cook, and the frig is out (and dead empty and clean). We have a gas water heater, so can shower. A screened porch, where we would sleep if our life was always going to be without power. Can sit there in the morning with coffee. At six a.m. it's pleasant. The house is shaded and open at night, closed in the day, so it stays under 85 degrees and I can sleep there. Tom can't; he needs to sleep on a V-pap. He has found another place to stay. The V-pap is part of our privilege. So is the house on a wooded lot. So is, normally, good central air. A king-size bed. A guest bedroom, where a dear friend stayed one night. So is this iPad, gift of my daughter, who had the privilege of coming of age during the feminist movement, and has an advanced degree and earns good money, and flies all over the world to work (though that feels more like a burden to her than a privilege). So is The Grand Day Cafe, where I am sitting now and so was my fabulous breakfast, which included a blueberry pancake and grilled vegetables fit for a queen. So is our van and its wheelchair lift, and the power chair that lets Tom have a life, and the classy health club we are going to next, where I will charge my new 4G phone. We are the luckiest people on earth; now I know it. I have added a couple of things to my nightly gratitude meditation. When the power comes back on (maybe by Sunday) believe me, I will add a couple more. I intend never to forget my good fortune again.