Recognize your privilege: A Human Perspective
In the history of any country, through time, one way the ruling class controlled the masses was by establishing privilege. And they guarded and protected that privilege at all costs. If you glance into India’s colonial history, it boggles the mind when you realize that just a handful of white people established power over millions of Indians. They did this by placing themselves at the top of the caste system, even above the brahmins, making the general populace quake in fear and in awe. Every educated Indian longed to be included in this inner circle, often rejecting their own kind, and over time, they came to be known as Brown Sahibs: white man wannabes. They emulated the white man only to be spurned by them as darkies. This has been our legacy as Indians. And we continually deny our attempts at being accepted in white circles and deliberately adopting their values, which includes their attitude to certain races.
Today, we understand this group of the privileged as a fraternity, a brotherhood who protect one another and hide the truth. These groups permeate society in an intertwining web of control and manipulation, pushing their narrow, self-seeking agenda. Their presence is everywhere, from police unions and judicial benches to politicians and lobbyists, working hand in hand with big industry. For years they have preyed on society, looting the economy with unwarranted tax exemptions and dividends for themselves, all of which completely legal because lawyers, lobbyists and politicians are handsomely paid to make it so. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. When the divide between the rich and poor deepens, when the wealthy focus solely on their own amassing of wealth with little or no care for the poor that support society, when the law designed to protect, instead becomes an instrument of oppression and police officers commit murder fearlessly, safe in the cocoon of state protection, when the political and economic system stops working for the underprivileged, then people revolt. They take to the streets, many peacefully, and some violently, and voila! We have a revolution.
Whether it is a clash of classes or ethnic groups, racism is ugly, and it has simmered under the surface, like lava waiting to explode. Why? Because while slavery was abolished on paper, the sentiment remained deeply entrenched in their DNA, never acknowledged as wrong or heinous. In order to combat racism, you first need to acknowledge its existence. This in the language of meditation is what is referred to as mindfulness. Unless you are aware of a thought pattern which induces stress, you cannot eradicate it. Similarly, voicing it brings buried supremacist tendencies to the surface allowing you to acknowledge its existence. Only then can you repent by taking the knee in sincere apology.
We love to believe that they are at fault. They are the racists and we have no connection with everything that is happening. Yes, we really feel bad about it and something should be done, but it is not our fault. This is completely wrong. We are all responsible for whatever takes place in our community. We are all guilty of privilege.
• If you have a home, a roof above your head, you are privileged.
• If you have food stocked in your refrigerator, you are privileged.
• If you can shop in a store without being followed, you are privileged.
• If you can walk the streets without fear of being killed, you are privileged.
And we maintain that privilege by remaining silent.
We are in the grips of four devastating epidemics: Coronavirus: the health epidemic, Unemployment: the economic epidemic, Revolt: the social epidemic and the fourth, the most heinous is the pandemic of Racism. What justifies your silence? The time is not for remaining silent, but for you to reach out and help in any way you can, using your money, your time, your energy, and your compassionate thoughts.
Use this time to deeply reflect on your privilege and on how we all build walls around us based on deep identification. Where does your identity lie? My country, my religion, my skin color, my gated community? Meditate each day, knowing that everything you think and say becomes collective thought. Use the power of your positive thoughts and feelings to create harmony around you, accepting and embracing people around you without exception. There is only One consciousness manifest in different bodies and what affects one, affects us all. Recognize your privilege and then share that privilege with those who need it, who have never been given the opportunity, and then, who knows, maybe we can leave this world as a better place for our children.
Watch the full video on Hamsa Meditation’s You Tube channel