Unraveling the guilt around Privilege, and Rich Shaming

We all kind of hate the ridiculously rich, am I right?

We hate these people who never had to work a day for their lives and who have never obviously scrubbed a toilet. We hate these greedy landlords and wage drivers but we also want to be them. Have money and be famous like them – but ’til then, fuck the societally accepted pretty genes and champion the masses. Empower the 98%.

Get woke right?

 

Well let me let you in on a little secret.

The truly rich never really think they’re rich. They say their parents are rich, or they just know a bunch of other kids who are way richer and just feel poor by comparison. Either way they live in a completely different stratosphere and the main damn problem about all of this is that they’re not made aware of how much power they hold. They’re not made responsible.

In a mainly neo-capitalist world, the people who are born rich, and born with all the access and privilege to maintain and expand these riches are the new royalty. Money talks, they are the authority they can sway and move politics, their voices actually have a platform to be listened to, they shape nations and have energy to sway the world.

But they’re also conveniently not held accountable, and are often away from the public eye. It’s just accepted, they’re greedy pampered things and that’s just the way it is.

Now why the hell am I talking about this in a “spiritual” blog ?

 

Because it took me a damn while to realize I was a princess.

It took me a good look at the face of truth to swallow down the idea that I’m born with a lot of responsibility and expectation more than the normal person – and if I were to be completely Real and honest with myself. I would need to swallow down that bitter pill.

You’re born with a shitton of privilege.

In some of the most unjust circumstances in the world that enables it to happen.

So.

What you gonna do about it?

 

I’ll give it to you straight. I was born in a military family that has had two vice chief of staffs (thats #2 of the entire armed forces) and the head of the police…. of the entire country. I’ve had family who was money launderers for fortune 400 companies and I know that we know how to employ hitmen.

If by some reason we got into a car accident, you’re the one afraid of us.

I’ve had soldiers as personal chaffeurs and friends since I was highschool. Cleaning guns in the house is an inside joke and oh by the way, I eat really fast and have a cold shiver down my spine when my dad calls.

It’s a….specific experience. We have family chinese friends who had weddings that was the budget of a small towns department of health. If you think hunger games, and those rich people in avante garde (ridiculous) pink feather gowns and dripping green emeralds and being extremely proud of hiring the police to demolish squatter settlements. Yes. They exist in real life, I met one while I was working for a homeless NGO. I have a weird life.

 

So suffice to say I have a few things to say to people who are outside of my experience.

1. The stinking rich are just as depressed as you. Their problems and woes all take different forms. We all have the same joys and worries.

2. If we’re genuinely going to change things, people of different economic class have to work together and see each other as humans. We need to connect, top down, down to top. There’s no other way.

 

I’ve written blog posts about my, extrasensory/psychic experiences surrounding poverty, and genuine joy, truth and richness in life. So see it expounded here: different kinds of poverty

So I’m not going to talk about that.

I’m going to talk about how as a privelaged 8 year old child I asked:

“Can rich people be genuinely good?”

“Can I be anything more than what my family and society dictated me to be?”

I asked these questions by writing a character named William in an original story. He was kind and goodhearted, son of a shipping magnate. And he falls in love with this rags to riches spitfire of a girl, who shows him the outside of his very specific bubble.

She lets him escape into a nameless carinderia, lets him experience what’s it like to eat rice from a flimsy plastic wrapper.

What it’s like to commute in a country with open-air, polluted, crazy noise and traffic.

She, simply put. Frees him. Let’s him breathe.

I resonated with this story so much, it was like my subconscious asking questions.

He unironically enjoys old whisky, but also knows it’s a minimum wage earner’s yearly salary.

He know he wants to help people, but also knows that he needs to keep the company running so that people can keep their jobs. So pay the bribe.

He also sometimes just wants to just get the fuck out.

For every princess switch trope romcom there is, I could really identify with the sheltered princess type who’s too stupidly fascinated with streetfood she’s never allowed to eat. Khaled Hosseini once had a short story of a son of a village dictator realizing his father was cruel, and having only had one true friend who played with him when he escaped at the backyard to play with stones.

No expensive airplane sets could fill the emptiness he had when his friend died from the local war, or poverty.

That story hit me right in the gut. This shit’s complicated and that’s exactly how it is.

I’m never allowed to go anywhere without about 3 layers of approval and being a kid who liked books I grew up with only a few but intense friendships. You don’t know how much it means to us to be seen as a person and not as our social class, and how hard it is to maintain friendships with an ironclad household. Sometimes I feel like I get it when Bruce Wayne forsook his mansion and his batman identity to be a nameless warehouse worker.

I get it. It’s pressure to be somebody and something so terribly specific, it’s suffocating. I’ve lied so many goddamn times to hide that I was rich. I purposely wear unattractive clothing and left my hair unkept. Lied I had a chaffeur or could pay full tuition if I had to when I was scholar in a top public science highschool.

I decidedly didn’t want to look and act rich and went all Toph Beifong in terms of being bad at fashion and purposely not liking the things I’m supposed to like. I made my english tonality sound more local, more street. Ridiculous really. But a short cry for:

Please, just see me as me. Don’t ask about my family.

And don’t we all long for that in the end?

 

So.

What now?

You keep lying?

 

This was all learned shame from an experience I was born with. I didn’t choose a lot of these things, the drivers, the 24/7 CCTV, the familiarity with expensive dining chinese customs. And to feel guilty about them because you have a heart for the poor and the masses spells out a death sentence of never fucking accepting who the hell you are.

This is part of you? Why the fuck are you denying it?

That you’re privileged, moneyed, and

A little soldier.

 

So wake up already.

A quick note: I know all about the military industrial complex and how government and businesses love wars for the sake of profit. I also. Get it. When I say I’ve finally accepted the part of me that feels like a soldier, I mean the more fundamental part of being a soldier in being devoted to service and collective cause. In discipline and force of damn willpower. I’m terribly familiar with the toxic yang/overly masculine aspect heartless aspect of this energy, but to not acknowledge the fighter within me? The True strength that I know is also part of me? Is a disgrace.

My mom once went face to face with a drunk intel officer who was threatening farmers with a gun. She had no goddamn gun on her that time, only damn fire and conviction. My dad saved a crashed helicopter once and didn’t tell my mom about it and we just learned about it through the drivers. My grandfather cockblocked a dictator once who wanted to set a druglord named barracuda free. I once told a huge executive man that I’ll withhold deliverables if he doesn’t bring down the fucking money he owes the NGO I worked in.

So. Mind you. I can tell toxic masculinity and true strength apart. I honor both the sins and virtues of my bloodline. And that’s a reality you gotta be willing to eat with if we’re truly gonna be resolving karma.

 

And what’s funny is I unpacked all of this also with a story, with a cartoon that centered around a sheltered little princess who was banished and was thrust into war and conflict. Stories can transform if you let it, feel it as Real. Because what would it really take, to Do all of that?

 

She had to teach herself strength, in a reality that told her to stay in her room you little girl. But she also felt responsible for the country and the people she was trained to take care of, love and steward. No matter how different the people were from her personal experience. No matter how much they doubted her for her upbringing and her appearance.

I felt that, on a spiritual level. HAHA. DAMN. My personal experiences are being triggered left and right.

Now what I find interesting is, she goes about winning the favor of the tribes of the kingdoms by befriending and inspiring the princes and princesses of the ruling tribes. One had a crush on her, and she compelled him to go to one of the sickest and most destitute areas of their lands, since she herself was willing to do it. The inheritor of everything your eyes could see, changing the bandages of a nameless old man on the street for no credit. She was kinda bad at it, but she was serious about the vision of rebuilding the impoverished village. She didn’t give away her identity, she just went away working bandaging the poor.

She also learned how to fight and defend herself. Since the plot included a lot of fantastical fights she forced herself to learn to use the bow and arrow regardless of her being sheltered, tiny and frail as hell (it’s literally almost a joke). She was frankly the anti-thesis of badass and you rooted for her because she goddamn tries. As a sheltered flower, I can very damn respect that. And she similarly inspires another tribe’s princess to commit treason against her own father to save the tribe from druglords. It’s pretty wild. Fun stuff.

But if I were to completely put myself in her position, I’d be like. Oh jesus god you did what to your father now? I CAN’T IMAGINE DOING THE SAME. I mean I can’t even imagine escaping the house sometimes goodness christ. Yet isn’t that what radical change compels and asks us to do? The impossible? And those in the position of power – wouldn’t you have to sacrifice proportionately more with the more that you have? Are you willing to see that? The more that you can give? Do you see it?

You who has internet and probably the comforts of a house?

 

I’m not going to lecture here about privilege on a theoretical level. I guess this is for someone really specific, and if this helps but only one sheltered child then by god it’s worth it.

 

You’re not alone. I understand that you love your golden cage. You genuinely love the family that cannot know what’s best for you. You don’t want to hurt them, but you have to and you don’t mean to but you will. You must. I know that all your life you’ve been surrounded and groomed to be something terribly specific.

But you’re not a showbird honey.

Birds are supposed to fly and no matter what fucking age instinct will just kick in and you can tackle any fucking headwind. It doesn’t matter if the injuries are non-physical, if the shackles are psychological. I see you. I acknowledge your battles. For every fuck shit who doubts and judges you for where the hell you came from and your ‘unfair’ advantage, they could frankly just shove it up their ass. They’re blind to the possibility of You.

We all are fighting our own battles. And to undo all the sins of your forefathers, to truly dare to become who you are and unflinching with your truth. You will become a hero and a Power in your own right. We are living in a world that is poor in self-realized beings, in people who are grounded in who they truly are, who’ve been tested in fire and proven themselves Real. Who can look at people who’ve lost everything and go:

Yes I’ve been there. Now, stand the fuck up.

Who’s shattered the egg and shelter of their own world. Tossed all advantages in the wind and stripped themselves to nothing but what they are in their fundamental spirit. Who’ve been betrayed by everything that made them feel safe and came out winning. In this sense, they are unshakeable. They are the mountain that cannot bow down to any howling wind who can’t be fooled and manipulated by puffed fanfare or tricks.

They become warriors in the oldest sense of the word, in the world that rejoices in stupefied sleepwalkers. Endears bored, lame, and dumb whiny little bitches.

That’s not you dear and I think you know it. I think you know it every time you twist in pain and keep asking is there all there is?? I’m tired. I’m tired of pinning the blame on someone else. Of being deeply dissatisfied and doing jackshit about it. You’re tired. So tired of the things being the way it is. That’s the larger you, beckoning you forward.

You finally found the song of your heart, and what’s crazy is, for this one time you’re willing to fight for it. You’re willing to go maybe, maybe I could make it head plunging into the light of the other side?

 

Let me tell you what you’ll find.

You will find nothing but the wholeness that is yourself. And that, if you can find the heart to trust me, I’m telling you it will be worth it.

 

 

So if you have shame about riches or hate about those who have power. May I ask what part of you is in pain? And can you be fucking ridiculously honest about that question for just one second. Can you see things as they really are, if you’re willing?

If you claim to be for a more just and fair world, then don’t even those who are groomed for royalty deserving of compassion and cooperation? For what it’s worth I’ve met both peons and royalty who have the aura of fucking angels. We all have different hands, different assignments and talents. Why don’t we just recognize that and get to work?

 

And to anyone who’s reading this today:

Have a merry Christmas.

Ciao,

M

 

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PS The anime I’m talking about is Yona of the dawn, and if my future lover is anything like Hak let this post be the proof to say I called it. HAH.

PSS After processing this, I’ve fully accepted to myself that I like me my strong military leading men. Not because of my upbringing, but because it’s my aspiration to be the one who saves not only myself but also other people in their weakest moments. I’ve always adored Roy Mustang to an unfair degree heh and I feel no shame about it now. HAHAHAHAA

 

 

your soul is welcome here

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