I live a life of privilege. I am a white, middle class American living in the 21st century. I am privileged. I will admit that I feel a little revolted by writing that. But denying it is insulting—especially to those who are not privileged. Rejecting it is masochistic, and quite ungrateful to my forefathers who gave their own blood sweat and tears to get me here.
I have witnessed people choose to shed the opportunities a parent offered for the hard road from some overdeveloped and romanticized awe for the ‘bootstraps.’ I am not referring to those who go to help the needy as missionaries or with one of the charitable organizations like the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity or Doctors without Borders. I am talking about kids who reject college for a life nearer ‘the street.’ The motive is not to help, but to be tough and independent. This is a choice which I find to be so ungrateful.
Because of the privileges I have, my life is different. I get to make our house a home and educate my kids in it. So much of my life is about choice. I set my schedule, I choose the curriculum, the activities for my kids and family, and just about everything else. My husband doesn't have this luxury. Who wants to spend sixteen hours around the worst criminals California has to offer? He works and has little choice in the matter.
But I do have a choice. Why do things that aren't fun? Why choose to engage in artificial drama? My husband’s life is stressful enough. I owe it to him to be someone of peace. He should have to come home and deal with heartache that is so needless.
This is why I try to not obligate myself to too much out there. The truth is that there is so very little that I absolutely must do. Creating obligations that would merely put pressure on our lives is forsaking the privilege and opportunities I have been given. I just can’t justify that.