What is Privilege

Do you have it?

Devon Swanepol

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Having privilege, by definition, means to have special rights or advantages that are not necessarily offered to everyone. Because many of us may not think about the privileges we have or simply take them for granted, it is important to reflect on them.

Attending a high school in a wealthy and predominantly affluent area puts all of us at an advantage that most people in the world do not have. While many may not realize it or choose not to view it as a privilege, having access to our first world leisures is an asset that a lot of us take for granted. Over the past few years, I have reflected on my privilege and ultimately how it equates to power. Most of us at this school were born into families that are more or less financially stable. That was not our choice. What is our choice, however, is what we choose to do with the power we have been given. And that is not to say privilege only stems from wealth. We, in the United States, are privileged in the sense that we have freedom. We live in a democracy where we have the power to use our voice. Personally, I view that as the biggest privilege of all, and that is the power I am choosing to exploit today, in my quest to raise the voices of those who do not have the privilege that I do.

Using your privilege to help others does not have to come in overt fashion either. There are numerous ways to use your privilege in more subtle, but just as effective ways. For instance, joining an advocacy group that you are passionate about or donating to a local cause that speaks to you in a personal way are just a couple of many ways to use your power. Regardless of your personal views, there is always some way to use your privilege in a way that both benefits you and others. So, I urge my fellow peers to find that place where you can make a difference and feel rewarded while doing so.

If you are wondering how you are privileged you can use this product of the University of San Francisco awareness program.