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Birthrights

July 20th, 2009

I have thought much recently, about the concept that for some reason, those of us born into privilege in a Western 1st world environment receive that privilege as a birthright. We didn’t earn it……we didn’t choose it……we just had the fortune or destiny to be born into a context that allows us a better shot at succeeding.

And there is nothing wrong with that having happened to us. It’s not a bad thing that I was born into privilege instead of on the streets of Mumbai. I need feel no guilt over that, even in light of the tremendous disparity of our planet, and the overwhelming needs that exist.

My question is however, if privilege is a birthright, then what about responsibility? Is that equally a birthright on par with privilege and the advantages that came with my birth address? Do those born into a context of advantage bear an equal weight of responsibility? Of a responsibility to wear the mantle of privilege lightly and humbly? To consciously understand the ramifications that if I, through no choice of my own, have access to more, than I, through conscious choice now, must share my birthright with those whose birth lottery looks vastly different?

And if that is the case……then what does/can that look like for me……for you?

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