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The Velvet Rope of Privilege



I want to start out by openly recognizing the privilege I enjoy in my life and in society; as a white, fair skinned, blond, executive moving in networks of influence. I am very aware of this, so this is a tough but necessary piece to write. I write humbly and openly recognizing that this for me, is a work in progress, I am a work in progress and perhaps if each of us broke down our privilege and our own biases, we may be able to begin a path to reconcile as a society. Where to begin??? So much has happened at the turn of this decade, it’s like a switch has been hit and the universe, tired of the gently nudging us to get our act together, decided to go all out with a body slam to humanity that would knock us out of our complacency. So here we all are, or most us of us, who have been paying attention, re-emerging from lock down. Some of us taking to the streets in protest of more black lives lost to abuse of power. Some of us, recovering from illness or loss, unsure how to emerge. Others declaring that we need to get back to normal. After everything that has transpired I wonder if normal was never normal, and whether it should ever be anything we ever want to get back to. We have evolved, or devolved into being consumed by consumption and shiny things. We’re kind of working against our collective best interest. And it’s mostly unconsciously working against our health and well-being by battering the world we inhabit, electing leaders who are guided by celebrity over substance, making wealth the dominant measure of all things, designing haves and have nots and with them extreme haves and never haves. Privilege and the lack thereof quietly woven throughout our lived experience in ways that have become normalized and therefore inherent and unquestioned. Privilege is dangerous, it’s an insatiable beast always feeding off our collective insecurities and seeking shade to root. It’s dangerous because it denotes that some are special, more deserving of favourable conditions, inside info, freebies, life behind the velvet rope, separate from the other. Privilege has become a goal, a desire, we needn’t look to far to see the proliferation of keeping up with this and them in mass and social media, that promotes affluence and extreme power. Privilege is layered and nuanced, privilege is like getting on an escalator, and then jumping on a ladder, and then a helicopter, you keep wanting to get higher just because you can. White privilege is undeniably destructive and when paired with ruling class or political privilege, it’s essentially guaranteed that most of the population will be left out of the bulk of prosperity. They design a system that works for 10/15 percent, banking on the fact that the majority will be lulled into complacency and convinced to just trust us. And then there’s us, at some level we all want it....I don’t want ticket, I want gold ticket, court side, front row etc. That’s part of being human, some of it is innocuous, but most of it is deeply damaging, breeding divisions and shaping policies of separation, framing discourse and encouraging ISMs that have ensured some groups will never benefit because they are being stepped over and on systematically by those who continue their reach for the top. This breeds inequality and ensures that collectively none of us will rise to the higher purpose, the enlightening space we could all collectively occupy. So today I write with humility and a wish that we take a stand, along with protests and marches and begin a path to authentic humble reconciliation where we face ourselves, the hard truths, the ugly stuff, along with the best parts, so that we can come together in universal love and humanity. Let’s make 2020 our reboot. Peggy Taillon  Founder and President HERA Mission www.heramission.org  @heramission  613-769-5499

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