There’s this new trend of bashing motivators and life coaches appearing on both TikTok and Twitter, and if we’re being honest, it’s for a good reason. For so long, we’ve been letting people with higher privilege and higher socio-economic status dictate what we can and can’t do; what we should and shouldn’t do. The COVID-19 pandemic really is an awakening of how unfair the world is. By highlighting the privileges we have and don’t have, it exposes the nonsense these so-called “motivators” have been talking about.
Privileged people seem to have a hard time admitting their privilege, choosing to bash the unprivileged ones who could not reach the same achievements as they do by calling them “lazy” or “ungrateful”. In reality, we are just oblivious to the bigger and more expensive guns we obtained from just being born to a certain family. It’s no one’s fault to be born in either wealth or poverty, but choosing to not acknowledge the things that makes it easier for you to achieve something than those who have to work harder for the same thing makes you an ignorant person prone to bigotry.
One of the most famous examples is how triggered many Bollywood actors and actresses become whenever someone points out how they got into the fame they have because of the help of their mega star actor/actress parents and/or their filmmaker uncle/aunts. Having a flawed view of how their privilege works on the film industry and their fame, one actor compared their privilege of being a son of a known actor who was trying to have a name in the Bollywood industry to a father buying a pencil case for his son to help him study.
Factually, their privilege of having megastar parents as their root of success isn’t comparable to a father giving his son a pencil case, but to a father buying a whole school building and bribing the teachers to give his son good grades. It became more ridiculous when one new coming actress expressed how sad she was to not being invited to a prestigious late-night TV show in response to another actor without any relational background expressing their struggles in getting jobs in the industry. There are no words to describe how defensive these people refusing to acknowledge their privilege can be other than to call them comical.
I can sympathize with what these star kids are feeling. They read people who call out their privileges as not acknowledging any of their hard work. It does suck whenever our efforts to accomplish our achievements are all reduced to who our parents are. They don’t see the sleepless nights or missed meals that we experience in order to succeed in our goals. But what we also need to realize is how we don’t see the studio we’re training in whereas many people couldn’t even afford any singing or dancing classes to begin with. We don’t see the laptop we’re using to do our assignment when there’s people of our age not even able to attend any classes of any sort. What we don’t see is the fact that we have a meal to skip, when others don’t even know whether they will have a meal at all.
This isn’t a preach for pity. This is a call for awareness. The least we can do when we know we have what others don’t without even trying is to acknowledge it. Acknowledging one’s privilege doesn’t equal diminishing their efforts. It just means one is mature enough to see the benefits they have received and empathize with those that don’t share the same experience better.
When one acknowledges their privilege, they’re also expressing their respect to those without the same privilege as they do but achieve the same milestone, and to those who do not have the luck to achieve what they’ve achieved. It also means that one acknowledges a possible flaw in the system that allows privilege to succeed more than actual meritocracy. In the end, it takes just a bit of humility to acknowledge our privileges.