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The Potential of the Privileged

Discussion in 'Politics Discussion' started by SimonSays, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    I recently watched an episode of 'The Crown', where I was reminded of the incredible privilege royalty experiences. An equivalent in the modern world might be the A-list actors and musicians, because whenever they do anything, go anywhere, meet anyone, everything is arranged for them. They’re picked up, dropped off, whatever is needed is done so that they don't have to think about any of it. Where they stay, the method by which they get there, private planes, etc, all taken care of by other people. And this privilege not to have to think is wasted if they don't understand the value of thoughtless creative awareness.

    If they understood its true potential, firstly, there’d be no more complaining about how long they'd had to wait in the first class lounge while their private Jet was delayed or how much extra time the journey was going to take in the back of the Rolls Royce. They'd just appreciate the fact that they get to experience this privileged state. And those around them would also benefit from the creativity this gave them.

    Certain actors and musicians do get to live like this once they reach a level of success. Of course some just don't get it at all. Some become egotistical, tantruming, extremely difficult and highly demanding people who are corrupted by having everything done for them. There may only be a few who can really deal with this properly, who understand the unique opportunity being in the creative state almost all the time gives them.

    The most successful performing artists have people who take care of everything, leaving them free to live in the creative state, as long as they can control their demons, and often their best work comes out of being in a state that doesn't have to deal with the world at all.

    I’ve been fortunate to have had the chance to experience a bit of this freedom for varying lengths of time, in different situations, and I know how creative I was able to be in it. I’d really love to let the world of the mundane go. I’m not sure what that would look like practically, but to feel truly free to be who I am without having to think about material concerns. That would be something.
     
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  2. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    There is more to that regarding privilege. When one is accepted at an Ivy League university, one has the privilege of never being allowed to fail, or only to fail upward. White privilege allows me to drive through a wealthy area and I need not worry about being pulled over for driving while black. Public events, especially social events, are designed to coddle NT privilege . . . I especially saw that in HS and University where everything is arranged for the socially adept.

    Depending on our personalities, skills and skin color/ethnicity, we swim through privilege every day.
     
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  3. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is true. And there is more still because privledge vacillates situationally in more diverse ways. For example, many women can use the promise of the assets of their gender to gain priveledge, while simultaneously being denigrated by the same persons they influence with the implied promise of their gender.

    And since we live in a coooerative society, most people in that society have agreed, voluntarily, on the "rules of priveledge" even if those rules work against temselves.
     
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  4. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    It's interesting to see the course this thread has already taken. Moving away from the original idea of what privilege can give you, and more into the idea of privilege itself and who has it.

    I'd still like to look at the freedom privilege gives in eliminating the striving for material need. And why it often seems that those who have it have no idea how best to use it.
     
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  5. ucrenegade

    ucrenegade Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No such thing as white privilege that is a word they are using to divide. Their is such thing as money and fame privilege that is it.
     
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  6. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @SimonSays, I don't agree that "those who have it have no idea how to best use it".

    Simply by eliminating the striving for material need these people often use their privledge in ways that we, the privledgeless, can imagine.

    Bill Gates, for example, uses his wealth and privledge to try to tackle some world problems through his foundation.. He has also used his privledge to influence others to give away a significant part of their wealth.

    What I don't see priveledged people doing, however, is working to eliminate the societal agreement of privledge in the first place. Even Bill Gates merely offers bandaids without really using his priveledge to change.
     
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  7. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Respectfully, I disagree! My uncle was adopted from the Navajo nation. I have heard people call him "dirty indian" while being with MY white privledged company. I was not insulted or harassed just him.
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    I lived on the Navajo reservation.Mr Gates funded the library while l was there which had very little books. I took time to help a Navajo lady open a bank account and l handled a phone company issue she was having. My spouse and l gave a don't do drugs session for the Hopi Indian Elementary school. Thank you Mr Gates.

    But yes, l did see Navajo's treated disrespectfully by others. I also saw Navajo woman who were raped, treated poorly. It was difficult to see. It really bothered me. I count myself very lucky to have lived on the reservation. It was so quiet.

    Sorry to the OP. This thread has really bounced around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  9. Martha Ferris

    Martha Ferris Seeking answers

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    "white privilege should be viewed as a built-in advantage, separate from one’s level of income or effort"What Is White Privilege, Really? (salisbury.edu)
    Ever hear about walking a mile in someone elses shoes? We all have mountains to climb but some because of their skin color or their sex or their disability to name just three have higher mountains to climb than others. The changes that became mandatory for businesses to implement to accomodate the disabled came about because people finally realized that the abled bodied were creating spaces for themselves that the disabled could not navigate in wheel chairs and walkers thus they were at a disadvantage in a number of ways. That was the privilege of the able bodied refusing to see the challenges of being disabled.
    White privilege is about not seeing how much higher the mountains that must be climbed are for those who are people of color. It is about refusing to see the inequities in our societies. Challenging white privilege is about acknowledging that we all don't start out on a level playing field and that our societies favor the majority, often the white majority, in numerous ways both consciously and unconsiously that negatively impact those who are not white.
    When you see a news report about a person of color being arrested and often abused for some minor offense ask yourself if this would have happened if the person were white. When you see children who are not white getting ticketed by police for not having a light on their bikes ask yourself if this would have happend to a white child. The advantage here is skin color. Different treatment based on the color of ones skin. Kids who have arrest records that will impact them for the rest of their lives while white kids would not have and haven't been arrested for the same offence. White privilege. You can find many of these stories on Youtube if you care to look. You can find them on news feeds. They are out there and there are a lot of them thanks to the internet. Dare to see.
     
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  10. LadyS

    LadyS Work in Progess

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    I think too many people reference famous celebrities (actors and musicians) when referring to the negative effects of privilege and wealth. Which I guess makes sense since the media is always flooded with them so that's all people see. There are a plethora of other wealthy people (especially in the corporate world) who enjoy the same privileges but never get talked about. The same "tantrumy" people who have everything they need but still want more because it's never enough.

    I think the main takeaway is that regardless of how you attained your wealth, there will always be an element of greed and ego that will stop you from appreciating from what you already have and fulfilling your potential. Some, more than others and some to a much lesser degree.

    Personally the potential of monetary wealth has never been appealing to me. Sometimes the best growth and creativity comes from hardships and not having everything handled for you. Less is more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  11. LadyS

    LadyS Work in Progess

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    I wonder what the response would be if someone were to say that NT privilege doesn't exist and is only meant to divide. Sometimes you can't see until it becomes personal.
     
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  12. LadyS

    LadyS Work in Progess

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    I've also noticed so many music artists who start out with so much talent and creative potential, who seem genuine and fresh, ready to be different and unique only to have the music industry change them to be the same canned "poppy" artists who base their music more on their sex appeal or shock value than anything else. Always disappointing. Even more disappointing when the artist claims that this is their "true self".
     
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  13. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    Thank you for mentioning it.

    Creative thoughtless awareness... this is the point of this thread. Privilege, coming about through talent, enabling an artist to live in their artistic world without the kind of distractions the rest of us have to constantly deal with.

    It's not the only way for creativity to flourish of course, as @LadyS said...
    ...and often those artists who are now in privileged positions went through such hardships when they first created. But the truly talented, those who are innovators and trendsetters, constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity, need to immerse themselves in a creative space where the outside world doesn't intrude. When they go into their studio, they can be fully present with their ideas.

    It doesn't always work... I'd say that U2 did their best work when they had a reason to comment on the situation in the world at the time. Many people are of their time. But look at an author like Stephen King. Still writing, films are still being made of his books, and he must get to live in a world completely free of external distractions. He will have people to take care of everything so that all he gets to do is write.

    Isn't it why the majority of monasteries are in isolated places? In exchange for renouncing the world, they get to live in a way that allows them to experience connecting to the divine in its purest sense. I am more familiar with the Buddhist tradition then the Christian, but I dare say it is a similar principle just a different approach.

    To truly walk that kind of spiritual path. To let go of material concerns and distractions. To experience a sense of presence in a way most can't really imagine. To me this is a privilege. One I have felt a few times called to experience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You'd probably appreciate a 1944 novel written by author W. Somerset Maugham titled "The Razor's Edge". The premise of this story is essentially what you are describing. That real wealth isn't about money, material possessions or even conventional benchmarks of success, but rather something else.

    - Something not easily found by many of us.

    The book has also been turned into a movie twice that I know of, though I have seen neither film.
     
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  15. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @SimonSays, I don't disagree with you on the artist and privledge. But I wonder if we can't look beyond the idea of privledge? That is not a rhetorical question.
    Vincent VanGogh certainly had the privledge of his brothers patronage. But that privledge was not enough within his own life time.

    Buddhist monks practice their spirituality with the very essence of letting go of material distractions but they embrace "material concerns" by begging for their very supper.
    To be a buddhist monk is a privldge and yet not.

    Just thinking...
     
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  16. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    @Suzette

    I think Vincent van Gogh had other issues, mental health issues, that made it difficult for him to escape his demons. But then perhaps he wouldn't have been the painter he was without them.

    The tradition of Buddhist monks begging for food, is not a traditional type of begging where they're not sure if they're going to eat that day, but I take your point.

    And good thinking it is :)
     
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  17. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    So...I'm imagining a Monastery situated in the remote mountains of Tibet. And as you may know, there are different traditions when it comes to what is considered Buddhist monastic life, so a Monastery in such isolation would not require the monks to beg for food, and yet there are people who provide them with what they need, those who consider it a service or a blessing to do so. I can't say I know exactly how it all works but clearly it works and what matters is that they are in the situation they need in order to do proper monk stuff.

    They don't sleep much. They get up early. There is plenty of meditation and chanting. Time for learning. Time for personal needs. Plenty of chores. And the eating of that day’s food is consumed by midday. The simplicity of a life without the modern world seems attractive to me. And I got to experience a taste of it for a while. Living on an ashram.

    Not a very remote one, in fact right in the middle of a busy town in south-east India, but there was still a wonderful peace to be found within it. I understood the value of living like that, and often wish I had felt able to stay indefinitely. But there was always something about the world I had left behind that kept calling me back. Something about experiencing relationship that I would not find in that life. That life helped me find something, but it wasn't something I could commit to.

    I knew a man when I lived in Penzance, who had been a Buddhist monk for 10 years. He hadn't meant to become a monk, he was a taxi driver dropping someone off at the Monastery. After having a chat with the head monk, he ended up staying and becoming one himself. 10 years later he left to eventually marry and have children.

    We talked about life as a monk when it looked like I might follow in his footsteps. I could feel the effect it had had on him. 10 years is a long time to devote yourself to that kind of discipline and practice, but he knew it was time to return to the world and bring his experience into it. He would sometimes lead the meditation group I used to attend there.
     
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  18. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. And that also leads to some destructive biases. I once made the assumption that in social situations all women had to do was show up to be approached by guys. Not seeing the social signals I didn't recognize until much later that there were women as shy as me and scared of looking approachable or being approached. Had I known better that I was assuming privilege I may have acted differently. A lesson for me about how assumptions about privilege can obstruct being our best selves, not because of one's own privilege, but because we assume others are privileged.

    People here need to read Malcolm Gladwell's, Outliers. As one reviewer summarized " . . . The central thesis of the book is that while talent and dedicated practice are necessary for success, early advantage and privileged social standing are what truly make the outliers." Many succeed or fail not from what they do, but from things not of their own making. Tim Geithner, a true dull witted thinker, who did lasting damage as Obama's Treasury Secretary, failed ever upward after attending the Ivy League.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  19. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I seem to have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    A very good point. Assuming the privilege of others. Creating another form of 'us and them' mentality, when actually none need exist at all. We are in fact far more similar than different.
     
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  20. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Bravo. Interesting how some in this community, many who have struggled against the privileges afforded to NTs in a world of their making, would be blind to other societal privilege. I think realizing that I was different and struggling socially gave me an appreciation for how privilege shapes us. My intellectual abilities allowed me the privilege to escape a public school education that seemed only geared at training boys to be factory workers. I never want to forget my roots and to understand the ways I was advantaged despite my unrecognized ASD.
     
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