Self Expression Magazine


Posted on the 06 June 2015 by Opianto1 @kay_keme

LET’S TALK PRIVILEdGE!The Oxford English Dictionary defines privilege as

''a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group''.

However, I have described priviledge as that edge an individual or a group of people have over others in any given situation. Let me make this practical. Picture yourself standing with a group of people. You're all waiting to be served at a party, and there's just four pieces of chicken left and you're five in the group. What do you think would happen to the person at the front? He might as well have all of them because he is a priviledged position. In my description, privilege is about having that extra D in the word. The D in priviledge gives one an edge over other people.

I remember growing up as a young boy in a huge family. I have many cousins, and I often ate with the young ones just to foster bond in the family. So there we were; 7 kids sat in front of a metal tray and filled with rice and tomato stew. I was one of the big ones, and I always sat in a position where I would be able to eat more food than my little cousins.

Maybe I was a bully of some sort, and yes I would admit that. I always sat where I knew the others won't be able to reach the meat in the big tray. Most times, I turned the plate around so the meat could face me and then my cousins could face the hard work of toiling with the mound of rice right in front of me. In my case, with a spoon of rice, I had some piece of meat with it as well.

But with this priviledge of being the oldest, came responsibility. I may have abused it a lot of times and had more than I should have taken instead of sharing. But there were times where I had to be responsible and understood that I shouldn't take my priviledge for granted, but use it to the advantage of someone else. Yes I had that extra D; Yes I was at a vantage point; Yes I could have abused my priviledge continuously. But no! I chose to be responsible and shared what I had the priviledge of abusing.

The message I am trying to pass across is simple. Just because you're up doesn't mean you shouldn't pull someone else who's down. We all have a responsibility as human beings to love our neighbors regardless of their circumstance. If you're in a priviledged situation, see it as an opportunity to help others no matter how little.

There's an Igbo proverb that says:

Let the hawk perch, let the eagle perch, and if one tells the other not to perch, may his wing break: Let people live in peace and if someone refuses [to do so], may things not go well for him. Simply put Live and let live.


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