Archive for September, 2013

Privileged disgust

I’m disgusted by the way I live.


My dorm room is bigger than some people’s apartments, with a private bathroom and a well equipped kitchen only a few steps down the hall. My fridge is full. In fact it’s overflowing. I cook for myself not because I can’t afford the most expensive dining hall plan or eating club, but because my tastes are so picky I rather cook my own food.


I go to one of the best undergraduate institutions in the world, and every day I see evidence of grandeur, excess, and insensitivity to the concept of being ‘less fortunate.’ I have 2 parents in a marriage that has lasted 25 years so far and siblings who are perfectly healthy and well off.


My little brother recently asked me whether now was a good time to ask my parents for money. I said “sure, but you know you can ask me if it’s an emergency.” His response: “lol, it’s not an emergency, I’m just trying to see if I can.” I shook my head and laughed. But hey, at least he’s honest. He has never been in dire need of anything. And the truth is, neither have I. I have never wanted something I couldn’t have. Right now, I could literally go into the store and buy anything I wanted. Sure, I might regret it tomorrow. But my debit card would go through, and my check wouldn’t bounce.


My friends and I often get together to discuss our woes: the late nights studying, the grade deflation, catching the attention of the most eligible guy on campus, or whether we have the right outfit for next Thursday night. And often I think to myself: ‘Wow. Look at us, and our privileged troubles.’ We get so wrapped up in the little things in life that don’t go our way.


Hold on a sec. Let’s pause. I am not by any means implying that we don’t have legitimate problems. No. That wouldn’t be further from the truth. But we don’t have to worry about keeping a roof over our heads, or where our next meal is coming from, or whether we can afford to get basic health care or education. We are not worried about if we will have decent clothes to wear tomorrow, but instead we are more focused on how to wear our brand name clothes in such a way that the Valentino, Louis Vuitton, or Jimmy Choo logo is on full display.


Ever since I started working at 17—only in the summers, and never at minimum wage. I would go through the entire summer living on my own, and I never bothered to cash my checks until the end of the summer. Why? because I had saved enough to make do on my own. The concept of ‘paycheck to paycheck’ was just that, a concept. So what’s my point?
It’s simply this: I WKK currently find it insufferable to continually drown in my own selfishness.


Let me ask you this. Should the same person who can spend $500 on designer eyeglasses, dissect the pro and cons of giving $1 to a homeless person, because of what they might spend it on? Or should someone who never knew what it meant to be hungry until they decided to ‘fast’ for religious reasons or because they wanted to lose weight fast, hesitate before deciding to consistently donate some of their income to helping the poor?


You tell me. And yet the most amazing thing is here in America, my family is considered basic middle class.

How many people, if they unglued their eyes from the newest grand theft auto game long enough, might realize the blessings all around them. Yes, you have problems; yes you have troubles, but know you are blessed.

I know your father died before his time, but thank God that you had someone around to call daddy. I know your house is basic and it doesn’t even have an in-ground pool, but thank God you have a safe place to live. I know your parents piss you off, but thank God you have parents around to continually get on your nerves.


You have one life.

And chances are, if you are reading this right now, though its been challenging, you can find 5 things right now that you are extremely thankful for. And that my friend is called a blessing.