Privilege, luck, hard work or genetics?

7 Nov 2019

I may be pedantic, but twice recently the word 'privilege' has been used on Moodscope in the wrong context. A couple of weeks ago Mary described a family holiday in Wales. The gist was that a disparate group (of tastes, although one family) of wife, husband, two teenage girls, all got something which they saw as a great experience. One reply indicated that only the rich and privileged could afford such a holiday.

I wrote a blog longer ago dwelling on aspects of childhood (my children) in the 1950's and 60's. The gist was that we had acquired a large house (a cheap wreck which we had built on to) and a large garden. Our five kids had room to have friends around, make as much noise as they liked (no neighbours) and have animals. This, too, was described as 'privilege'.

I looked the word up, basically an 'exclusive advantage or right' i.e conferred, not earned.

I have been (favourite occupation) 'dissecting' the people who have come to my nearly stillborn 'Talking shop'. One lady after nearly three hours of conversation made me feel small, in my presumption that everybody had the same chances as me. She has had poor sight from birth. She has never been able to drive a car. I have driven everything I could get my hands on (the faster the sports car the better) since I was 13. I cannot imagine not driving a car.

We have had three days incessant rain. If you had a hospital appointment life would have been hell. Excellent major hospital and polyclinic in nearest big town, 15 minutes by car. But public transport here does not take you where you want to go, taxis reasonable but exorbitant if you have little money. Friends offer, but you don't like to ask when you do not know how long they will have to wait. Charitable organisations non-existent.

I was explaining how I designed my fashionable clothes on dolls, then, great big feet, she could not see intricate design and detail. But she must have acquired, reading large print, her work and listening, a wide grasp of current affairs, as she can converse knowledgeably, But she is very introverted and shy, is one surprised?

Another has had two fairly major strokes, and has returned to near normal. She is lucky, because she and her husband ran the opticians here, taken over by their son. He has four children, so she and her husband saw a lot of them. Their daughter has six children, and lives in Paris, so they have been much called on for grand-parent duties (just behind the Champs-Elysees).

A man I worked closely with on exhibitions has advanced Parkinsons. His tough little wife peeped in my kitchen – much admired. When she left school she worked a sewing machine there, alterations and repairs, with an old wood stove to keep them warm. She had no resentment that I was able to turn it into such an enviable room. So, how do you cope when life gives you a raw deal? I feel chastened by these people.

The Gardener

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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