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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Checking Privilege

Ahhh, what a beautiful Sunday afternoon -- I'm writing the first outdoor blog of the season!

In the past several years, there has been some talk in the "regular" media and social media demanding that some people "check their privilege."  I respectfully disagree.

You've seen me, time and time again, write about the destructive evils of bullying.  To me it's quite literally the path to the dark side.  My two-fold solution to this problem has been for us Bold Betas to, in a nutshell, become Bold and Bulletproof so that we can withstand any attack against us; and for those who perpetrate bullying to be taught how to be behave.  When this is accomplished, we Bold Betas reach self-actualization through a disciplined course of emotional maturity, and those who perpetrate bullying learn to stop being aggressive when they shouldn't be, and to be only aggressive when they absolutely must be.

But as Bold Betas, we are not only easy targets for bullying, we are also easy targets for shaming.  Stereotypically speaking, we are expected to be always-forgiving, non-assertive, docile, compliant, and consistently accommodating to others.  If we have something of value that others lack, we are faced with pointing fingers and clucking tongues that admonish us for not being "beta enough."  If we come from a background that provided us with some slight advantage that strengthened us, we are slammed and criticized for not being "open minded" enough to understand someone else's plight, and we are expected to believe that the others' disadvantages somehow make them morally superior to us. 

Gentlemen:  Don't fall for this.

Whatever "privileges" we have are strengths, and not weaknesses.  Unlike the overly-aggressive types, we do not use our strengths to cause harm to those who have less than we do.  We do rub our accomplishments in others' faces.  We do not shove people around with whatever confidence we have.  If we are Bold and Bulletproof, we use these "privileges" wisely in order to make our lives better.  These is nothing at all wrong with doing that.

Not to mention, if we choose to help those who lack what we have, on our own volition, and without being guilted or shamed into doing so, this is also using our "privileges" wisely.  

It is only when these "privileges" are intentionally used to harm others that they need to be "checked," and not just because someone is angry that they don't have them.  By the same token, it seems to me that these finger-pointers and shame-artists need to "check" their desire to judge and blame.  How much better can their lives be if all they do is "rage against the gods," like the antihero of an ancient Greek tragedy, instead of overcoming their disadvantages, as we do?

Never be ashamed of who you are.  Never minimize your accomplishments.  Never be less proud of yourself just because someone else has not accomplished what you've done.

Conversely, don't get a swelled head.  Don't attack those who have less than you.  Don't be like the overly-aggressive types that I've spoken out against.  Don't insult, disparage, or judge those who did not make the same choices you did.  This way, when they demand that you "check your privilege," you can truthfully say that there's nothing to check.

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

I AM BOLD.  I AM BULLETPROOF.  I AM ME.