I surprised myself when I found it difficult to write about my bucket list here. You see, I’ve grown up in the 1st world. I was born into middle class. It was assumed that I would attend University right out of high school. I’m Caucasian and whether I like it or not, I have experienced “white privilege”.
I felt conflicted writing about all my wonderful accomplishments and goals while at the same time knowing that 25,000 people will die of starvation each day. During the process of writing my bucket list several people died of hunger. At least one person will die of starvation while you read this post.
The more that I realize how rich I am in comparison to the rest of the world, the more my wealth and privilege make me feel uncomfortable. If you are reading this and you or your family own a vehicle: congrats! You are in the top 8% of wealthiest people in the world. That’s right, for 92% of the world owning one vehicle is not even a possibility. And get this, if you and your family earn $50,000 per year, you are the richest of the rich in the WORLD. Really, those who earn $50,000 or more are in the 1% of the world’s wealthiest. You see, the problem in North America is that we are constantly comparing our own wealth to those in the upper upper 1% like the Kardashians. We assume, “I can’t be rich” because we don’t own a private jet.
Where does this leave me and my “bucket list”? I am often conflicted. I LOVE to travel…we make sacrifices in other areas to afford to travel. We also give to others on regular basis. Is it OK to do both? What I mean is am I “off the hook” and given permission to live out my bucket list if I balance this with giving to others? Again, this question reveals my privilege. The fact that I’m wondering this instead of when my next meal will be tells so much.
How does one balance having goals and dreams that are WANTS when so many people in the world have NEEDS such as food, water and life-saving health care? I don’t have the answer for this, but I am wrestling. I wrestle with this all the time. I wrestle while on vacation and while at home (I can buy food anytime I want and there are Canadians in my backyard who can’t say the same).
I have loved the quote, “I am blessed to be a blessing” for a long time. To be honest, I don’t know if I am blessed or just lucky. Lucky to be born in Canada and into wealth (wealth when compared to the rest of the world). While I continue to wrestle with my good fortune and think about poverty, I know this much: I must pass it on/pay it forward. I need to use my blessings and/or luck to bless others; this is for certain.