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Privileged and Guilty

The pandemic has forced us all within our houses. You post a picture of your happy family having fun at home on social media. After all, if it hadn’t been for the duress, every member of the family would have had their own schedules and hardly any time for each other. The situation has brought the family together and you want to cherish every moment of it. So you post another picture. And then you scroll down.

Guilt as a burden and weight on shoulders - symbolized by word Guilt on a steel ball to show negative aspect of Guilt, 3d illustration

There is a post about a poor family who has been rendered completely helpless in this situation. There is another post highlighting how the pandemic has affected the daily wage earners. You scroll down and you see the statistics. The numbers are scary. The death toll is rising and countries are running out of resources to fight it. And suddenly you feel bad about having posted that picture. Do you? 

If you are reading this, you probably belong to the category called “privileged”. Because if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this but thinking of ways to get the next meal for your family. You would, in all probability, be bearing the lathis and galis of the over-worked policemen because it would have been better than looking at the hungry and desperate faces of your kids. But thankfully, you and I don’t have to go through all this. Because we are privileged! 

So what do we do? Sitting in our comfortable living rooms, snacking on something from our over-stocked pantries, updating our social media accounts and looking at the plight of the world fighting with this terrible pandemic, what do we do? We sigh! And we feel guilty. We feel guilty of having more than enough luxuries while many out there are struggling even for the basic necessities. Or at least some of us do. 

Guilt is a rare commodity. Not all of us have been blessed to feel the guilt. And I envy those who don’t. It makes life so much easier. Because with guilt come a lot of unwanted unpleasant thoughts which can keep you awake at night. Guilt makes you question everything. How do you enjoy this while people are sleeping hungry out there? Have you done enough to deserve these privileges? Are you doing enough to help those in need? Why don’t you just give up everything? One after the other. They keep coming. 

But you know what? Guilt is like privileges. You can’t just give it away. You have earned most of it. Privileges and guilt, both! You have to learn to live with it. And do something so that it helps someone in need. But you cannot hand it over to anyone. No Sir, you can’t. 

You can Totally do this. - lovely lettering calligraphy quote. Handwritten wisdom greeting card. Motivation poster. Modern vector design.

So how do you deal with this guilt of being privileged? In fact, should you be guilty at all? I think gratitude would be a more appropriate response. Yes, be thankful for being privileged. It not only gives you access to the better things in life but also gives you an opportunity to help out those who are on the other side. While you may not be able to balance the Universe, but do not underestimate the impact of a good deed. 

Do your bit and help out as much as you can. Don’t wait for a crisis or pandemics. Look around and you will find enough issues that need your support and contribution. Being privileged is a blessing. More you help, the more you realize that. Do it till it becomes a habit. Share a part of what you have. You might not feel a dent but someone will benefit from your little contribution. Will it take away the guilt? Not really but it will certainly make it bearable.


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