riddle me this.

An immigrant who….

  • is not a citizen
  • has come in search of a better quality of life
  • and more opportunities for education
  • does not pay taxes
  • takes jobs from those who are more qualified to do it
  • drives up the price of housing by making it more competitive
  • receives a monthly stipend from the government
  • along with public healthcare benefits
  • did not fluently speak the local language upon arrival
  • nor understand all of the cultural norms
  • explicitly teaches their native tongue to locals
  • intentionally spreads their foreign culture

 

This is me. 
I fit every single item on that list.

When people hear my story, they call me ‘brave’.  They tell me I’m adventurous, daring, worldy, inspiring.  When people hear the stories of others whose basic scenario boils down to exactly the same set of statements, these aren’t the descriptions I hear being used.  I think you know which ones are instead.

So riddle me this:
What’s the difference?
I think it’s privilege.  Privilege of being an US-born, native English-speaker… over which I had zero control.

So riddle me this: 
How should I feel about that – humbled or guilty? How do I change that lense? How do I spread more kindness and understanding? How brave and adventurous and daring and worldly and inspiring are those who choose to leave their home behind out of need instead of privilege? Should we be doing more to assist those people? Am I giving back part of this privilege I did nothing to earn?

 
….just a thought that occurred to me the other day that I figured might be worth sharing.

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