Monday, December 05, 2005

PRIVILEGE

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE POOR. I came here to Greece from a wealthy  European country. I came here through choice. I came with money to support myself. I was not leaving England due to unemployment. I came here of my own free will,  in search of adventure, to discover something different, to experience life in another country. I have had the pleasure of working in my professional field here. I have never had to take a low paid menial job without insurance. I am privileged I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE UNDER PERSECUTION. I did not flee England fearing for my life or for the lives of my children. I have never lived in a war-zone. I have never been attacked because of my religion, my beliefs or my ideas. I do not know what it is like to lose family members or limbs or my sanity because of war, bombings, massacres or ethnic cleansing. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE ENSLAVED I have never been held against my will. I have never been forced into prostitution or  the pornography industry. I have never been trafficked into a country to work as a slave in any capacity. I have never had my passport taken away from me. I have never been beaten, locked up or restrained. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE HUNGRY I have not fled famine and starvation. I have never known anyone die of hunger. I do not know how it feels to walk across entire countries in search of food and shelter for myself or my family. I do not know what it is like to uproot from my country of birth and go in search of a better life for my children. I find myself free to live where I choose and to live without hassle.  I am incredibly privileged.  All the people who read this are. It is easy for me to sit here in judgment. Me with my access to everything I require. Food, housing, education, health and freedom. It is easy for me to blame my woes on the poor and the most vulnerable. So as I sit back and enjoy my coffee, my evening meal, my warm clothes and house, my processions,  my lifestyle; I remind myself that  it was all brought to me on the backs of other people. People  poorer and less privileged than me. People who will never enjoy the things I enjoy. People who will never have the things I take for granted.

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At 12/05/2005 11:59:00 PM, Blogger The SeaWitch said...

People who will never have the things I take for granted.

Just by writing this blog has proven that you don't take things for granted. Nicely written Diva.

 
At 12/06/2005 08:27:00 AM, Anonymous Bob said...

Diva, You sound interesting. Need a boyfriend?

 
At 12/06/2005 02:18:00 PM, Blogger EllasDevil said...

A fantastic blog... Can't think of anything else to add as you've said it perfectly already.

 
At 12/07/2005 06:11:00 PM, Blogger schatzli said...

well said and well written
PS I came to Greece as a child of a political refuge.

 
At 12/08/2005 11:27:00 AM, Blogger oskar said...

Great text! To be unable to defend and provide for your family, to be humilitated and abused are terrible things. Also, and very important, is that these conditions are all things which can be avoided, they are not given by nature, but rather created by us humans and the societies which we live in.

However, I don't agree with your concluding comments:

"I remind myself that it was all brought to me on the backs of other people."

I feel this is a common misconception, that political oppression in Burma, persecution in Zimbabwe or hunger in Sudan is somehow related to, or even caused, by the wealth enjoyed by those in the richer parts of the world.

The situation in Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan would not be helped one bit if people in Sweden or Germany became poorer, produced less in their factories or consumed less.

The problems, both political and economic, in most countries experiencing poverty and political oppression, are at least partly related to too little interaction with the rich (and most often democratic) world.

 
At 12/08/2005 02:45:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Thanks to everyone for these wonderful comments. Bob, I've got the boyfriend situation sorted thanks!

 

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