Privilege · 20 January 2018

I saw this video about privilege a couple times that made me think a bit about life. Which is what it was meant to do. (Regardless of what comments were made.)

If you have not seen the video, you ought to. Just for a little perspective. Here is a link to the video so you can check it out. I’ll wait. But here is a little description of the video in case you do not want to watch it yourself now.

There is a race for a one-hundred dollar bill. I am not sure of the distance of the race, but the organizer gives some advantages (two steps each) for people who have had certain things in their lives. Things that they have absolutely no control over. Like whether their parents are still together. The list is fairly long and some people have many advantages making the race shorter for them. One of the most interesting things about the race is when the organizer tells those in front to look back at the others. Or really for everybody to look back to see those who had none of the advantages given in the list. He says that he would put his money on some of the people in the back if there was not a handicapping of the race due to the privileges given. Again, privileges that none of the people had any control over in the first place. They do race, but it does not really matter who won. In fact, the video does not show the face of the winner.

While the video shows a bit about privilege, there is a deeper message for me: You gotta run the race. Regardless.

The video shows some of the people in back before the race begins but after the handicapping is finished. They are discouraged. Some even still have their backpacks on or maybe even put them back on because they are giving up. Which is what some people who have few privileges in life do. They pack it all up before the race even begins. They figure that there is no hope without privilege. But that is the point of the race. It does not matter what privileges other people have. You still need to try. You still need to run the race.

I really liked the video, but I would do it differently.

I would give the directions in such a way that it sounded like the first person to win would be the one who gets the hundred dollars. I would not be deceptive, but I would let people assume only one person would get the money. Then, I would give each person who finished the race a hundred dollars. For while there is indeed just one winner in a footrace, there are many winners in life. And in life, it does not matter where you start. It just matters that you finish. For the race does not just go to the swift.

You just gotta keep on keepin’ on. Finish the race. Keep the faith. There will be a reward. Eventually.

There were those who looked like they were not going to race because they were at the back of the pack. Whether they raced or not, many of them were discouraged because of where they started. But life is not a sprint. It is a marathon, and everybody gets a prize for finishing. And for the most part, you get to decide what that prize is (and each prize is different).

So watch the video. It certainly sheds an interesting light on privilege. And it made me think a bit about life.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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