What To Do With Privilege

Do you feel privileged? Should there be privileged? Being privileged implies you were born with societal advantage(s). Some examples of privilege in America are skin color, race, gender, intelligence, athleticism, and the amount of money your parents have. 

Which culture you are born in makes a difference too. For instance, Warren Buffet said, if he were born in the middle of Afghanistan, his gift of picking good stocks would have been useless.

If you have difficulty envisioning what it means to be privileged – watch this YouTube video: Privilege/Class/Social Inequalities Explained in a $100 Race (linked below). It makes a powerful visual statement about how having privilege moves a person to the front of the competition before it even starts. 

But privilege can be ruinous. For the rich, hard to know who your true friends are. Are they your friends or your money’s friend? Privilege can make you feel entitled and lazy. It can make one feel like there is no need to work as hard because life on a superficial level is coasting. Having a privilege life is comparatively easier. It can be so unchallenging, there are no incentives to even start the race. The race being your life. It is an easy trap to fall into.

Remember, struggling and hard work develop character, allows for self-discovery, and builds resilience against adversity. Without this, there can be stagnation and even regression. The ultimate ruin is never reaching your full potential. 

If you were so lucky to be born with privilege, use this gift to better the world. 

Reach out. Go beyond your ego. Be of service. Contribute to society. Start by helping one person at a time. This will reverberate positives back to you beyond your imagination. 

Let’s look at being born with disadvantages such as poverty and black. There is nowhere to go but up. Two people whom I admire did just that: Oprah Winfrey and LeBron James. 

They had to struggle. And in doing so, they discovered their purpose. They used their platforms to better the world. 

In both scenarios, privileged and disadvantaged, the secret is to find purpose in your life. Realizing our purpose is what brings us happiness. No matter where you are on the privileged scale, find a mentor, a coach, a role model. People like teachers, counselors, coaches, club leaders, health care professionals should be available for advice. Listen and absorb the lessons and interpret them for yourself. Find your inspirations. Develop positive habits and hang out with supportive people. If you hate the lessons and everything else, be honest and examine the internal hate you may have for yourself. 

Cultivate good friends and be the good friend you want to attract – integrity, loyalty, respect, encouragement, and compassion. Life is like an echo. 

Start with believing that you can do it. Visualize the world through abundant eyes rather than with scarcity eyes. Everyone has something to offer. I heard this quote the other day, “I never met a strong person who did not have a difficult past”. Rather than retreat from our difficulties, acknowledge and forgive them. Heal as much as you can. Move beyond it. Let gratitude give you strength. Find where you belong. We all belong somewhere. This is your adventure for your lifetime. 

Discover your dreams, set goals, be determined. Believe and manifest your dreams. You are worth it and good enough. You deserve it.

Learn to quiet your mind through meditation. Let your ego go, then look within. It’s grounding. Ask what is my purpose? Where is my path? Then look outwards for guidance. We are not islands. Within our community, there are resources to help (especially now that we are online).

That beautiful energy you create will come back to you in positive ways that you could never imagine. This is how you can become soulfully happy. Now that is truly privileged. 

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Privilege/Class/Social Inequalities Explained in a $100 Race:

Inspirations :

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk4QufMvDUE

Finding the Perfect Gift

A Holiday Inspiration: Expanding Your Happiness

What is a gift? A gift can be a natural talent, an emotion like joy, an object or a service. By discovering your own gifts you are better able to give a gift to another. I was inspired to write this because of the holiday season and at the same time listening to Oprah and Deepak Expanding Your Happiness 21-day Meditation experience (I am a huge fan of of those two).

This meditation series introduces Oprah’s prayer. It is like a mantra to get her into her Flow Zone. This is what she said to herself prior to each one of her shows. “Use me God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself. How can I be of service? ”

Wow, that is powerful. Oprah’s mantra, along with mindfulness, has helped me find my gifts.

But what if you are stuck and can’t seem to be able to discover your gifts? They could be hidden behind all the mind chatter. You need to go to a deeper level of consciousness to discover them. Meditation, even 10-20 minutes everyday is a start to help you get rid of the useless chatter in your head that fogs up your concentration. Many great minds meditate for 2 hours or more every day! This training provides a background for your mind to be receptive to inspiration and knowing.

Your purpose and gift(s) will be something that flows so easily for you and it will feel grounded. It resonates within you and the universe. It will feel uplifting and a sense of belonging (to your authentic self). Hopefully, purpose won’t feel like work but bring you joy whenever you engage in it.

Of course, you can have more than one purpose. Or it can evolve over time. Gandhi’s method of finding purpose or gift is: the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. That is the secret to expanding your happiness. Give from your heart. 

When you are serving others, on the soul level, you are really giving yourself the perfect gift.

Whether you give service or something tangible, feel joyful when you give and bless the person to whom you give. Through out this coming new year, be conscious of opportunities to bringing joy to those you love and care about. Sometimes, you will get an aha moment and know that that will be “the gift to give”. Joy is always the perfect gift.

In this same meditation series, Deepak talks about Karma Yoga. The Karma path is whenever  you give in the spirit of freeing someone else from “care and want” and while at the same time your action brings you bliss. When choosing a gift let your ego go. It’s not about you but the recipient. Ask yourself, what would bring them joy?

Remember your soul expands when you help others. The joy of helping others is its own reward. Here are some examples gifts that bring joy: shoveling your neighbors walkway, picking up their newspaper or mail when they are away, baking them some goodies, walking their dog, offering help to an older person with groceries or taking them on an outing or doctor’s office or walking with them, giving a meal to a panhandler who you know who can’t find a job because no one will hire them, pay for the pizza lunch ordered by the guy beside you who is wearing his custodian uniform and likely is making minimum wage, volunteer at a local organization that you believe in, give a great big smile, and a tiny flower, etc (future blog on the “etc” part coming soon).

This holiday and throughout the year, always give in the spirit of bringing joy to someone else. The joy is the perfect gift. Make this the purpose of all your gifts. It does not have to be tangible.

As the recipient of any gift, never look disappointed. Always be grateful and appreciative no matter what. Someone thought about you. That’s the REAL gift. Remember it is the thought that counts. For those people who make the disappointed face, it is telling of their soul.

Deepak’s advice: Go beyond your ego and experience Unity consciousness where you perceive no division between you and anything you perceive.

My advice: finding the perfect gift starts with finding yourself.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

The above photo is from our office’s Charlie Brown Holiday Tree. Inside the pyramidal boxes are Rishi Organic Valerian Dream tea bags. The gift of sleep. That is powerful too 🙂