I’m writing this from Brooklyn, where we’re locked-down with a curfew. Yesterday, from the safety of my apartment window, I saw a group of protesters walking about 3 blocks away from where I live.
This got me thinking about privilege in The Dream context. The recent protests have made me increasingly aware of my privilege as a white male in today’s society.
It’s from this position that I can freely chase The Dream. It’s with even greater privilege I can choose to not pursue it.
Bear with me here, these thoughts aren’t fully developed. Yet I hope that bits and pieces may resonate with you.
The Dream is accessible to people like me. The freedoms I enjoy in society allow this to happen. Sure, as I’ve learned, pursuing The Dream is destructive and I believe that wholeheartedly.
Yet for some, The Dream is completely out of reach. Their gender, skin color and/or sexual orientation block them from ever achieving any semblance of The Dream. At the same time, The Dream Pushers still push The Dream on all of us, whether it’s accessible to us or not.
So where does that leave us? I’m not sure.
In my own circumstance, I had to pursue The Dream to experience it’s destructive impact. I now have the privilege to turn my back on Dream chasing. And this seems like an even bigger privilege.
If The Dream Pushers are pushing The Dream on those who can’t access it, they’ll simply be pulled deeper into the chase, as the Pushers’ relentless messaging is so difficult to resist, especially when faced with prejudice that manifests itself as oppression in many ways inconceivable to those of us privileged enough to not experience it. This results in a rapidly descending spiral of destruction and hopelessness.
It’s hard enough to turn one’s back on The Dream from a place of privilege. If stuck in the chase like this, being able to pull one’s head up and take the risks required to turn their back on The Dream becomes nearly impossible.
So this can leave large swaths of society chasing and chasing, becoming more and more frustrated and exhausted. And the exhaustion makes it even more difficult to pull out of the spiral, trapping people even deeper in the despair that the feeling of powerlessness creates.
And it goes on and on for generations, causing unthinkable suffering to those trapped in the spiral.
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Current Reading List
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
by Ernst F. Schumacher
My Seditious Heart by Arundhati Roy
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
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