A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Life of Privilege

It is funny the parts of life I repeatedly come back to. In high school and college I was introduced to the atrocious foreign policies the great United States of America has made throughout history that benefited us but caused extensive damage for others. I have met people over the years that are dying from malnutrition, who are living on the streets and who live in abusive relationships. These terrible situations show me how privileged and blessed I am to be a white, middle class, confident American woman from a loving family. How do I identify with those who live a "harder" life than me?

The other week I got on the MUNI (public transportation) with Maggie to go to the Castro to watch a documentary. We got 2 stops into our ride and the train stopped and was flanked by the police. We were told the train would not be going any further and we had to get off. Being concerned we would miss the movie, we didn’t want to wait around for another train to come. So, we got on the train going back to our house and picked up the car and drove in. I was angry with myself for the easy and speed I was willing and able to trade for the time I would have spent waiting for public transportation. I talk about wanting to understand and become part of a community but I often times find myself with more choices than those I want to be a part of. I have been blessed with a life of privilege in many respects. But where is the line of forgoing some of those privileges to better understand people? To more fully be part of a community? To be a more responsible global citizen?

I hate taking the easy way out. Life isn’t easy. It’s about intentionality. I worry this trend will infiltrate every part of my life. There are a lot of options we have as American’s everyday that others around the world do not have. American life can be more convenient. But I want to take time to think through my actions. I want to be intentional with my relationships. May I continue to fight these internal struggles and not become passive. Blessings and privilege also bring responsibility. May I be every growing, ever changing. And may I choose wisely.

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