Yes, We’re Privileged

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am anyway, and I’m guessing if you are reading this that you probably are, too.

If you read the bottom half of the internet (a.k.a. the comments section), you’ll find that any mention of privilege sets some people off …

I’m not privileged! My parents didn’t have any money when I was growing up! We bought our clothes at K-Mart when we were lucky and the thrift store when we weren’t. When I was in college, I worked for $2.12 an hour ! I work 60 hours a week! I raised 3 children while going to school and holding down a full-time job.

Yeah, me, too.

I’m still privileged.

Being without privilege when you were young and being privileged as an adult are not mutually exclusive.

I’m typing this on an iPad with a Logitech keyboard, on the 12th? 15th? flight this year and it’s only July.

Before I got on this flight, I was in the United lounge, drinking free Chardonnay and working on my laptop. A lot of other people were working there as well. It is a lot easier to work in the lounge because it’s quieter and there’s lots of outlets and plenty of comfortable chairs.

view of planes from United lounge

While Darling Daughter Number 3 arranged for the lounge and this flight to Rio, I paid for all of the other flights this year, the iPad, keyboard, laptop and all of the software on it, with the money I earned from working really hard. I also bought an iPhone and paid for a service with a personal hotspot.

My point is that since I walk around with thousands of dollars in technology in my briefcase (and many of you do, too), it is a lot easier for me to spend six hours en route writing a conference paper, analyzing data for a research study, editing graphics or video or programming the next level of a game. It’s much easier for me to get 4 hours work done in whatever hotel I find myself in the evening.

When I need to learn something new, whether a programming language or how to use Photoshop, I can buy a book on it or watch a course on lynda.com because I have an annual subscription. I don’t have to get on a waiting list at the public library behind all of the other people who want to read the latest book on the newest JavaScript library.

If I think it would benefit me to take a few days off and attend a conference on Unity 3D, SAS software, small business innovation research or serious games, I do it. I don’t have to go through three layers of management to get permission.

Being privileged and working hard are not mutually exclusive.

It’s like Dave Winer said – Money sweats.

He was talking about interest, that once you make money you get paid money just for having it. It’s also true in technology careers – once you have made some money, you can use that money to buy you advantages that keep you ahead of the competition, like practice with the latest version of whatever software you use, or 20 more productive hours each month, as you sit in airports.

It’s true in athletics as well. The better you get, the better coaches, nutritionists, strength trainers you can afford. You don’t have to take public transportation or work a full-time job at Starbuck’s, so you have more training and better training than the competition, even if they are working just as hard.

In America, a great many of us are privileged. If more of us recognized it, maybe as a society we’d be a little more humble, a little more grateful and a little more generous.

red line

Want to share a little privilege? You can donate 7 Generation Games to an individual, classroom or school. Check out the games here.

local_offerevent_note July 26, 2015

account_box AnnMaria De Mars

2 thoughts on “Yes, We’re Privileged”

  • Dear Ann Maria,

    I admire your personal strength of spirit in raising a family – especially after the loss of your husband. In an interview Ronda said you told her that her father was in Heaven. Thank you for instilling that Hope & Faith in your children.

    As a retired pastor I have it in my heart to help comfort those who’ve lost loved ones. So I wrote a book for that reason.

    May I warmly invite you to read my book ‘Email From Heaven 2.0’ which is now on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, etc.

    Please know I did not write it for profit – as all proceeds from the book benefit VA Homes and Hospitals. I only want to help others strengthen their Faith. God Bless.

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