Guilt or gratitude.

There is a horrible, wasting disease epidemic scourging my country. The CDC, hospitals, and the best of modern medical science are all helpless to slow it down, let alone stop it. People who succumb to it become sour, then bitter, then start to waste away. The cure for it is available to everyone, free of charge, but few reach for it. Both the carriers and the victims of this disease spread it deliberately, not aware of what they are doing. they don’t realize it’s a killer, it masquerades as something else. The symptoms can include depression, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, self mutilation, an urge to violence

This disease is ingratitude, but the carriers and victims think it’s sophistication. They easily see and bemoan the privilege of others: white privilege, male privilege, rich privilege. They say that evidence of your privilege is to be unaware of it. I will admit, it is probably easier in most ways to be caucasian and male than to have more melanin or XX chromosomes, though I have no way of knowing how my life would have turned out had my chromosomes been different. Neither do you. Therefore, I have no reason to be guilty about the privileges I had nothing to do with. I am grateful, if indeed my melanin content or gender is a privilege. Isn’t that the healthy, sane response to a privilege? By accusing me of being privileged, do you expect me to feel guilt?

If you are a citizen of the United States, is that not a great privilege? Did you have anything to do with that? If not, your appropriate response is gratitude. If so, if you or your parents made great sacrifices so that you could eventually become a citizen, I don’t even have to advise you to be grateful. You are probably even more grateful than I am. The guilt mongers who were born U.S. citizens, which is most of them, probably don’t think of their privilege, and regularly spit on it rather than give thanks. But you who had to earn your citizenship probably give thanks regularly.

I was born here, but unlike my skin tone and gender, I am consciously and regularly grateful. Every time I cross the border from Washington to Idaho, I marvel at the absence of checkpoints with armed guards. Every time I go to the grocery store, I marvel at the abundance. Every time I walk out my door to a peaceful neighborhood, I marvel at the absence…. of gunfire, of decapitated bodies hanging from bridges, of armed gangs demanding my money or my life. Every time I vote, I marvel that armed thugs are not lounging by the polling place (full disclosure, I always vote by mail, but I have passed many polling places). I hope to take the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles and back, and I will marvel that no armed soldiers will be getting on at any stops, demanding my papers and dragging some of my fellow riders away.

So complainers, whiners, guilt mongers, scolds, ingrates, who are ultra privileged to be citizens here, but unaware of their privilege, isn’t that the definition of privilege, you are unaware? But that’s not what you mean, eh? What say you to them, new american citizens? Probably try a little gratitude…or a lot!

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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