After reading various articles on the idea of white privilege, it truly made me think back on my life and examine areas that I have more than likely had “perks.” It is tough for anyone to acknowledge the idea that they have received any “upper hand” when working towards their goals, especially unknowingly. I felt a range of emotions when reading about the idea of white privilege, from anger, embarrassment, defensive, and sad. However, when applying this to the idea of service learning, I am angry by it. Why on earth should my skin color play a role in giving back to others? My whole life I have been taught to always give more than I receive, to put others before myself, and always take the time to make someone’s day a little bit better. Now, as a 21 year old I finally am making a real, adult decision to devote time to work with The Lost Boys and Catholic Charities, only to be criticized by almost every reading I come across. Yes, it is apparent I was born white and have been so very lucky, by why should this interfere with helping others? Why not use my resources to, hopefully, make a difference in society and advocate for a wonderful group of people who need to be acknowledged.
The society we have grown up in is unfair and down right cruel for some, but there is always hope. If we can work together to erase all ideas of inequality it would create a wonderful environment to live in. However, to do so we NEED TO COMMUNICATE! One of the best ways to do this would be through service learning, it is such an amazing way to learn first hand to allow you to speak with your own knowledge. We cannot educate anyone on these ideas without communication. Teach your children, speak to your families, utilize social media, and give yourself a voice. Just talk! Spread the word and we can all become aware of the harsh realities that need to be erased.