Let’s Talk About Our Privilege

On Tuesday my sweetie took me out on an amazing date to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I felt like I was being wooed and wined (well gin and tonic-ed) and dined. We feasted on muscles and scallops.  Perfectly cooked steak and duck in cherry sauce. Decadent desserts finishing our meal.  We were stuffed and clearly content.  We left the restaurant and walked to the car.  The air outside was way to cold for the thin cardigan I was wearing. My steps were quick and I flew into my seat eager to turn on the seat warmer.

Craig and I talked back and forth.  Sometimes about shallow things, occasionally diving deeper into the pond of conversation topics. Then he said it… with bit of a chuckle and not intending to lay down any guilt he said “We spent more on that dinner than some people spend on food for a whole week.”

There is was staring me in the face.  The struggle between being thankful for the incredible gifts I have been given and realizing the overwhelming privilege I have. It is a battle to stave off the shame of indulgence and find joy in the the extravagant when brothers and sisters around the world are trying to stretch their meager food stores to last just one more day.

Raspberry Brownie, Hazelnut Cheesecake and Creme Brulee

Because the truth is I loved that Craig loves me abundantly, showering affection and luxury on me for these extraordinary nights out.  I am thankful for the tiny table and the crunchy creme brulee topped with cinnamon and a raspberry (and the hazelnut cheese cake if we’re being totally honest). I’m thankful for the efforts he made beforehand, making a reservation and choosing this lovely restaurant.

Yet mixed with that attitude of gratitude there is sadness for people who don’t know those same gifts. Those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

I’m not sure how to reconcile this privilege with the mandate to feed the hungry right now… Other than to give what I have in each opportunity placed on the path I’m walking and be very grateful for what I am given.

How do you reconcile your privilege with others lack? Is it possible to be both generous and indulgent?

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