Privilege

After reading this article from the New York Times, I thought a lot about how classes still very much exist in the US. Equality is there, but not in the form of status, as represented by the stark contrast between the poor citizens living off welfare and the rich that have the means to appoint others to do simple daily tasks for them. This quote from author Rosenfeld especially stuck out to me:

” I began to appreciate the extent to which privilege and deprivation are passed down from generation to generation ”

I’m gonna be honest. I’m one of the kids in the upper class. I’m lucky enough to have my college tuition already paid, have a new car, and go on vacations every summer. My grandparents passed this to my parents, who have passed our lifestyle to myself and my brothers. 

However, I disagree with this quote. Before my dad’s parents had the means to help their children and grandchildren, they were poor with six kids. My grandfather started his own business and worked impossibly longs hours, only stopping to rest on Sundays. Some years he worked on Christmas and New Year’s Day. The same applied to my mom’s parents – except they had seven kids and even less money. My grandpa also started his own business, but didn’t pay for my mom’s college. She took a year off from school to save money, worked through college, and applied for grants from the state; she paid for all of her college in order to acquire a 4-year degree. 

My point is, this is only true to a certain extent. Maybe this can apply from one generation to the next one, but definitely not all. People work hard to move up in class. Their efforts should not be downplayed, because they are quite evident – people that possess enough determination can work themselves out of the poverty others simply complain about, and achieve the privilege that is highly sought after by many. People work so that the next generation after them will be able to experience the privilege they worked so hard to attain. The privilege to a great education, different life experiences, and an easier life. Who wouldn’t want that for their children?

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