Dev Rangarajan
    Privilege = Leverage
    Stop apologizing, do bigger things

    Checking or acknowledging privilege has become a big conversation topic in the past couple of years. I think this is largely for the best, because it allows for conversations about deeper societal structures and hopefully leads to us all being more understanding of each other.

    However, I think people frame privilege wrong. The son of a billionaire is no more responsible for his situation than the girl born in a village in eastern Africa. Blaming humans for where they come from (going either way), is something we should move away from. The difference between the aforementioned individuals is their leverage, and what our society should expect from them. If we’re going to disqualify everything that someone who has more privilege than us accomplishes, then we miss the point and the opportunity to make the world a better place. Our expectations should be higher for those who have the ability to fulfill them.

    From a personal perspective, this means when you identify your privilege, figure out what you can do with it. If you’re financially stable, then you can take more risks to improve society for those who aren’t. If you’re attractive, or socially gifted, then a genuine complement from you probably means just a little bit more. If you’re part of the majority demographic in a group, then when you stick up for a minority opinion the rest of the group might listen a little more. Even if you have none of those things, unabashedly telling your story will make it better for the next you to come up.

    It’s easy as humans to find the ways in which we lack, but we should really be striving to find the way that we can leverage our current situation into bigger impact on those around us. Privilege isn’t a bad thing, rather it is a massive lever for you to increase the amount of good you can do. Check your privilege, or don’t, continue to pretend that self-made exists, but either way do more, do better.

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