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When one thinks of what makes someone privileged you might automatically go straight to money. Yet, money isn’t the only things that deems one to be privileged. I think of privileged as being given opportunities that may not be open to those around you or even across the globe, not just the situations that involve money. These opportunities can be the ability to attend college, to vote, having enough food to eat, living somewhere with electricity, or even just having easily accessible transportation. There are numerous ways in which one can be considered privileged, almost too many to even list.
Living in the United States we are highly privileged in comparison to those of the outside world. The United States is known for being prosperous, and people are known to come from all over the world to chase the “American Dream”. So what is the reason for foreign immigrants to come here? Perhaps it’s because their home country had a controlling government that limited their rights and ability to live to their full potential. Or maybe it could just be because they live in a place with low living standards and want to have the opportunity to prosper in the U.S. For whatever reason one chooses to immigrate to the United States, these people all have the same goal, to live a more successful life with more freedoms and rights.
Living in the U.S. you may not feel that you are privileged, yet that is almost certainly because you have not had to deal with living in some foreign (Certain not all) countries, especially third world nations. According to index mundi the country with the highest poverty percentage is Syria sitting at a little over 82%, that leaves only a mere 18% who actually live above the poverty line there. Imagine yourself living in a country where the majority of its people live under these conditions, and on top of that the fear of war is typically looming around its lands. For almost all of us, including myself, this is just something we can’t imagine or relate to in any way. Yet I do not mean this in a way to make us as Americans seem spoiled, I mean this to point out how lucky and privileged we are to not live in such unfortunate situations.
Have you ever had to hunt or fish just to get a meal at night? I’m assuming the answer is no because as Americans we are able to simply just go to a grocery store or restaurant, and in many cases, acquire food at a very low cost. The options and accessibility to an excessive number of food items is just something that we seem used to, we’ve never lived in any other situation. For many nations their equivalent of a grocery store may be an outdoor market, or in very rural cases there is no market or store to buy items from. We are so privileged just to have these food options at very affordable prices.
The standard of living in the United States is also so much higher than that of many nations across the globe. Most of us have the luxury of having a bed to sleep in at night, running water, electricity, air conditioning, heating, and so many others features within the places that we might call home. While you might be worrying because the wifi doesn’t work there are others across the globe that worry about where they may sleep, what to eat, or maybe how they’re going to replace their only set of clothes. You may not label yourself as privileged because of the wealthier people around you, yet if you look at it from world perspective, the poorest of poor in The United States may very well be considered wealthy in certain foreign nations. Although this is something that is not evident when you may compare yourself to those around you who also live in the United States.
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