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Privilege vs. Entitlement

Today in my household school went back (silent cheering!). As I helped the girls get ready for their new school year, with lovely new things from officeworks, it reminded me again how privileged and lucky we are.

Privilege can sometimes have a negative context, but it actually just means having advantages. When I think of myself, my family and most of my friends, we have all had great advantages. Access to good education. Ability to get great jobs. Ability to earn security, and enjoy a good life. This is not to say life is perfect or without challenges, or that achievements are not earned. Privilege though has been a foundation in my life which has allowed opportunities to happen easier. It's an upward spiral. In many ways it self perpetuates.

My children are growing up with even greater privilege than I had growing up. I remember it was "a rule" that you never paid for parking (you walked a good kilometre instead). You took lunch from home. You had a strict (and very small) budget for "miscellaneous" things. Yet they live in the era of Uber Eats and Tap n Go! As Roxy said to me the other day - "Mum - I need a Chatime - this is non negotiable!" and without thinking I bought her one!

In our privileged world, it's easy to take privilege for granted. And that is the slippery slope to entitlement. It's not that hard to go from "I'm fortunate" to "I deserve this."

So what are some simple things we can do? Here are my top 3 tips:

1. Check your language: A need and want is different. But sometimes we interchange these words without realising.

2. Share your privilege. This could be through your time, energy, advice, support, aid or kindness. When you see how much it helps others, then it becomes addictive!

3. Always stop and be grateful. Don't take it for granted. Reflect on how lucky we really are.

Unfortunately for Roxy, she may not automatically get a Chatime next time. Perhaps she can buy one for someone else?


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