14 Things You Might Not Realize Are Privileges

Let me just say this: if you never stopped to think about the fact that everyone doesn’t have these 14 things, then that means you’re privileged in one way or another.

I know that word gets people’s hackles up, but being privileged because you had loving parents doesn’t mean your family didn’t have struggles or that you didn’t have to make you own way, et al. Most people are privileged in one way or another, and not so much in other ways – and it’s these first steps to understand that are necessary to bring us all together.

14. Unless you want to, I suppose.

Not having to send part of your paycheck to your family.

My girlfriend is chinese and her family expects her to send a big chunk of her pay to them.

While my parents still occasionally send me money for birthdays or christmas. (I’m german)

13. Being able to get better.

Recovering from a mental illness I’d rank up there with privilege.

A lot of people have traumatic things happen, but their pain is temporary. The right medication and therapy, and they work through it, and they eventually overcome it. Personally, I struggle with ASD, ADHD, OCD, Depression, and Anxiety.

I have working on these things through therapy with different therapists, multiple doctors, and medication, since I was 13. 20 years ago. Several times of years I add, increase, decrease, and remove medications to help me in the moment. They all work for a time, but need tweaking constantly. I will never get to live a “normal” life and every day is a struggle.

The fact that there are people out there who don’t deal with a single one of those things, are mentally fit, and just… Live perfectly happy and normal lives, just boggles my f*cking mind.

12. Count your blessings.

Having a roof over your head.

Those that work jobs that don’t make a living wage have no means to provide for it. Thus they are forced in to unsafe slums or having house mates.

Every day when I pull in to my drive way I reflect on this daily. There is something to be said about the peace of mind knowing you have a welcoming home waiting for you once your done work.

Like many things we grow accustom to having something with no expectations of change, this is something I’m always grateful and respectful of.

11. I can be an all day thing.


To go with that: a reasonable commute.

Commuting costs and time are a huge issue for poorer people who can’t afford housing near where they work, or an issue when they have to get from one job to another.

10. We would definitely miss it.

Hot water.

Every time I take a shower or bath – it feels like an otherworldly luxury and regularly get blown away that I’m lucky enough to experience it whenever I want.

9. We all love eating.

my partner has to use IV nutrition because her stomach muscles don’t work properly preventing her from digesting food.

Until I met her I never considered being able to eat as something i’m lucky to have.

8. Not everyone has the option.

Being “Zero Waste”.

For example, if you have a medical condition that requires a lot of medication, or many medical procedures in general, it’s not a choice to use tons of plastic and other disposable materials all the time.

I know this is silly, but some people that choose to be zero waste don’t realize that is not just a choice.

7. It can open doors.

Owning a vehicle.

I can’t fathom the amount of times how people dismiss those who don’t have their personal transportation and how public transportation isn’t always going to match up to their conveniences.

Like no Susan, I can’t be wherever you want me to be in 10 minutes.

It’s also a huge barrier to employment opportunities depending on where you live.

6. Redefine “luxury.”

I spent some time living in a homeless shelter, and homelessness will really awaken your senses as to the amount of privilege you have. Like I was surprised to find the “shelter”, which was considered one of the best in the state, was simply a plastic boat-like thing to sleep in, under an outdoor pavilion, with used pillows, and a thermal tin foil-like blanket. Followed by chow lines of up to 300 people, where a meal was served similar to elementary school lunches, three times a day.

Services were put in place for things like showering, finding employment, and getting housing. But privacy, comfort, and any sense of safety goes out the window. And forget luxury. (Wifi, TV, etc.)

5. And it’s all up to chance.

Being conventionally beautiful

It gets you more than dates. It influences prison sentences; attractive people are less likely to get convicted, and more likely to get lighter sentences when they are convicted.

Job interviews, assessments of intelligence and academic performance are all biased to favour good looking people.

They are also more likely to benefit from kindness from strangers

4. Not so far from home.

Fresh water from the tap. Imagine living in rural Africa. Or Flint, Michigan.

A few days ago I was taking a sh%t and it hit me.

Some people living in the middle of nowhere in Africa have to walk miles to get some dirty water from a well, and we have so much water we literally sh%t in it.

3.  Just the basics.

Probably being given a roof over your head and being able to eat 3 times a day.

2. Having people adapt to you.

Being a native English speaker.

I’ve traveled a bit (which is a privilege in its own right, no matter how hard I’ve had to work to be able to so so) and everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve met people who either speak English or can direct me to someone who does. You can get by in most places with the smallest smattering of words and phrases in the local language.

Transit centers like airports and train stations usually have English signs. English is the lingua franca in every hostel I’ve stayed at, in Russia, Portugal, Peru, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It’s funny to listen to so many Americans complain about foreigners not knowing English, and yet we generally also don’t take the time to learn whatever language of whatever place we are traveling to.

We know how to say please and thank you in Spanish? Look at us, citizens of the world!

1. Voting. Let’s not forget it.

Being able to choose who governs you.

Most humans who have ever been alive have not had a say in the matter.

A larger portion of currently living humans have that privilege than at any point in human history.

These types of conversations can be really eye-opening, don’t you think?

Give us some more to think about down in the comments!