Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia
“Of course you have a perfect score and be the number 1. Your parents have everything that can support you for being so good.”
When I was 15, I remember that I said this to one of my friends who was the number 1 in the class.
I feel so sorry for him until now. For me now, it sounds so ignorant. Maybe you also have that kind of experience where you simply mock others’ achievements due to their privilege. It can be in real life, social media, or in your own mind. You think that because they have privilege, they can easily achieve what they want. What I can say is that you are just being jealous, you think that they live a better life than yours.
The discussions of privilege have been much talked about in society lately, especially in social media. From Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter, many people say that privilege is everything in life. You can live happily and successfully if you are born from a privileged family.
Before we get deeper into the discussion, let’s get to know first about privilege. According to Cambridge English Dictionary, privilege is an advantage that only one person or group of people has. If likened to, privilege is like the start line in a race.
What we ignore about privilege is that all of us have already had it. Instead of minding what we have and doing the best from there, we see others’ achievements and be jealous because we think that they are more privileged. “Stop it, get some help,” said Michael Jordan. We need to start recognizing our own privileges and maximizing our potential.
Privilege is really subjective. Each of us has a different “start line”. Each of us has our own advantages. Privilege can help you to reach your success, but it is not the main factor that makes you successful. It is your effort.
In fact, privilege is a really complex issue. Inside of privilege, there is social inequality. Arie Sujito, the sociologist of Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta, said that the problem of privilege and equality is structural. The burden from poor families will be passed from generation to generation. This chain should be broken so those who are raised in poor families can have the equal privilege to be successful.
Now, let’s take a look at ourselves. “Am I privileged enough?”, ask yourself. If you feel privileged, good for you, now achieve what you want, and live a life you will remember. Then, why don’t you look around? Social inequality will always exist, but it is never false to help. Being privileged to help those who are unprivileged.
Privilege. (n.d.). Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 9 14, 2021, from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/privilege
Rizal, J. G. (2020, 6 9). Privilege dan Pengaruhnya terhadap Mobilitas Sosial Seseorang. Kompas.com. https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2020/06/09/083652565/privilege-dan-pengaruhnya-terhadap-mobilitas-sosial-seseorang?page=all