Welcome to DAY 4 of our practice. Let’s begin…
Please close your eyes while you take three slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and consider the invitation to: “Recognize Your Privileges.”
Over the past few days we have considered many “ordinary” gifts and miracles in our lives. Today we get to contemplate the fact that many of these gifts are also privileges meaning that they might be available to us but not to everyone. For the first time in history we are among a large cohort of people who have instant access to other cultures and information from around the globe; wisdom teachings that could previously only be accessed by traversing continents, along with the education, security and leisure to pursue things beyond what we need for survival. This is not to say that each of us don’t have our struggles but, if you are reading this on a computer or mobile device, the above is likely true for you. It is important not to take our privileges for granted.
The word “privilege” can too often invoke shame and that is not our intention here. It is simply for each of us to more fully recognize what might be available to us that is not available to everyone and, out of recognition and gratitude, to see if/how we might use our privileges to benefit others and help improve our world.
Today, we invite you to:
- Set an intention to recognize your privileges. Notice how simply setting this intention impacts you.
- As you go through your day, consider the many gifts in your life which are not available to all others. These might include the ability to see, read, write, walk, or have access to running water, electricity, the internet, transportation, a safe space to call home, etc. Notice the opportunities that these gifts allow you…
- Sometimes our privileges show up as an absence of fear; for example the fear that we will be treated unfairly because of the color of our skin, our gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, economic status, faith, or cultural traditions. What are some of the privileges that allow you to move though parts of your life with less to fear?
- Rosa Parks is a powerful example of someone who, in spite of coming from a community denied basic rights, used what she had “to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.” Consider some of your privileges and how you might use them in service to others and/or the world.
- At day’s end, reflect upon what you noticed, how it feels and what might have changed as a result of following your intention to recognize your privileges.
- Write about your experiences in a journal and/or share below.
If you would like to explore this topic further, you might appreciate:
- From Obligation to Opportunity – a grateful living practice
- I Will Be a Hummingbird – an inspiring video (2:00) by Wangari Maathai
- On the Shady Side – a poem by Rabindranath Tagore
- Eight Ways to Stand Up to Hate – a primer by Elizabeth Svoboda.