Puppies and Privilege

Cinderella

Because it’s Saturday, a day of happiness and joy, I am watching videos of adorable things—like a puppy playing with a crab. But because I’m me, and I can’t let anything pass through my brain without critical analysis, that video got me thinking about hierarchy and privilege.

See, the puppy is just curious. He’s playing a game and testing the waters. The crab, on the other hand, is fighting for his life. When the puppy playfully paws at him, the crab sees death. He’s trying to escape imminent destruction, while the puppy is just hopping around gleefully.

This is a bit like interacting with someone vastly more privileged than you, be that financially, socially, or physically. What they might see as an easy, fun activity could be a stress inducing event for someone less privileged. An invitation to dinner at a fancy restaurant can bring all kinds of anxiety to someone struggling with their budget. A light-hearted conversation about sailing could make someone who’s never been to the ocean feel out of place at a party. Going on and on about a high school sports victory to someone who didn’t get the chance to play could bring up difficult memories. It’s a good reminder to remember that we’re all coming at this world from a different angle—seeing it through a different lens—and to be conscious of our own privilege.

Not that any of these thoughts will keep me from replaying that video four more times.

 

 

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