(noun): a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor: PREROGATIVE
(verb): to accord a higher value or superior position to



Privilege (n.): mid-12th century “grant, commission” (recorded earlier in Old English, but as a Latin word), from Old French privilege right, priority, privilege” and directly from Latin privilegium law applying to one person, bill of law in favor of or against an individual,” in the post-Augustine period “an ordinance in favor of an individual, privilege, prerogative,” from privies individual” + lex law.”   Meaning “advantage granted” is from mid-14thcentury in English.

Privilege (v.): early 14thcentury, privilegen, “to invest with a privilege,” from privilege (n.) and from Old French privilege (13thcentury), from Medieval Latin privilegare, from Latin privilegium.




“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”

Brené Brown (b. Cassandra Brené Brown in 1965 in San Antonio, TX; holds a PhD, and serve as a research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work)

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“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” 

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969, 34th President of the United States (1953-1961), bringing his prestige as the commanding general of the victorious forces in Europe during World War II, obtained a truce in Korea and worked to ease the tensions of the Cold War)

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“Equality before the law is probably forever unattainable. It is a noble ideal, but it can never be realized, for what men value in this world is not rights but privileges.” 

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956, American writer, controversialist, humorous journalist, and pungent critic of American life, who powerful influenced U.S. fiction through the 1920s)

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“You could jump so much higher when you had somewhere safe to fall.” 

Liane Moriarty (b. 1966, Australian writer and author of “Truly Madly Guilty”; also the older sister of author Jaclyn Moriarty)

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“White privilege is an absence of the consequences of racism. An absence of structural discrimination, an absence of your race being viewed as a problem first and foremost.”

Reni Eddo-Lodge (b. 1989, British journalist and author of the book entitled, “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About”; she’s primarily concerned with feminism and exposing structural racism)

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Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege. I want to live in a world where all women have access to education, and all women can earn PhD’s, if they so desire. Privilege does not have to be negative, but we have to share our resources and take direction about how to use our privilege in ways that empower those who lack it.” 

bell hooks (American author, professor, feminist, and social activist with a focus on intersectionality of race, capitalism and gender; b. Gloria Jeans Watkins in 1952, better known by her pen name, bell hooks, borrowed from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks)

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“When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else's oppression, we'll find our opportunities to make real change.” 

Ijeoma Oluo (b. 1980, American and Seattle-based writer, Internet Yeller, and author of “So You Want to Talk about Race”; the editor at large for The Establishment publication; and voted The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017 and Seattle Met’s 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle)

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“You could jump so much higher when you had somewhere safe to fall.”
Liane Moriarty
Last week, I was viewing a news article on how dangerous trampoline parks can be.  Some of these trampolines are not padded or secured well, and as a results children’s lives are as risk. 
New York Times columnist, David Brooks, writes we often put love out of order.   In this case, the focus is more on the money rather than on the security and safety of our children.
At professional gymnastic gyms, however, there’s a lot of great design that goes into their matting systems, so that all athletes, no matter what size, ability, or level, each can jump safely.  Student-athletes also receive enormous amounts of support from their families, providing young people the encouragement, confidence, and backing they need to soar to greater and greater heights.
I have always been in awe of those individuals who have unconditional love and support from their families. 
After my mother died when I was 11 years old and my father suffered with mental illness, although I had two wonderful grandmothers, I always knew I was working at a disadvantage.  While at college, I worked very  hard to make the grades and to get involved.  But, I soon discovered that the most important part of my education was acquiring the beloved friends and adoptive mothers and fathers, who encouraged and acknowledged my abilities to succeed.
Inequity is like jumping on those dangerous mats at trampoline parks, where only half of the population are privileged to bounce successfully and flourish.  The other half of humanity, i.e., women, people of color, LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, etc.,, will continue to handicapped by the oppressive systems that stifle people’s citizenship and potentials to create.
There are a few enlightened and privileged individuals, either wealthy or at the grass-roots level, who continue to smash “the wheel” and create those interconnected communities that flourish and thrive.
Yesterday, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning news and the journalists were on location in Italy.  It was quite spectacular!  One segment featured Brunelo Cucinelli, an entrepreneur, who grew up in modest means on a farm.  But with an initial $500 loan, he built not only a billion-dollar empire, a company that is compassionate and caring.
Because he saw his father almost worked himself to exhaustion and tears, Cucinelli’s philosophy for his company is: “Mind, Soul, and Work.”  He doesn’t want his workers to work pass 5:30, because he believes that work can eat one’s soul.  And everyone at 1:00, as a community, takes a 90-minute lunch break, which is subsidized by the company.  Now, that’s a privilege work life of equality, where everyone is valued and treated well.
I believe our our is living through this rough patch of fascism and oppression, because we have to wake up. And when, we do.  I am hopeful we can live, work, and create more loving communities throughout!
Sojourners, strive on, and create to your hearts’ content!  Because the day is coming when we will soar and land safely, together!
Namaste, Tonya


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