Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.
Rule #79: Understand your privilege (Dad)
We hope that you don’t ever forget the nature of privilege in your life. While some feel that each and every person begins life on an equal playing field, and that all one needs to succeed is hard work, we do not believe this to be true.
Hard work is important and your abilities may be worthy of reward, but never believe that you have achieved anything in life completely on your own. There were and are conditions that have given you advantages and access greater than that of others—advantages and access that you did not earn.
A few examples of your privilege:
Shelter. We have a supportive and extensive family structure, so we have never had to worry about being homeless.
Education. The importance of school, study, and exploration has always a part of your life.
Travel. You have traveled to many places—Philippines, Hawaii, New York, Canada, Houston—and this gave you an expanded view of the world in both its beauty and its struggles.
Wealth. While wealth is relative, you have benefited socially, emotionally, and physically because we have been able to afford things like dance classes, club sports, clothes, travel, boba, summer camps, meals out, musicals, and more.
We push on privilege not to make you feel guilty or to say that you should give everything up but to remind you to remember that the playing field is not equal and that out of your own privilege you can and should strive to make it so.