Check your privilege

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Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

I started making New Year’s Resolutions when I was in college. After about 3 years of not sticking by it, I never made any New Year’s Resolution again. I thought to myself, do I really need a new year to start to stick by good practices or change bad habits?

Since the last time I made a NYR was about 8 years ago, I don’t remember if I kept any. I don’t need NYR to keep good practices and change bad habits. That’s one of the things you can do at any time. But if I were to name at least one good practice I upheld, it’s being grateful of the little things. I complain a lot when I was growing up, comparing my lifestyle to those who have it better. Why do I need to buy a new phone myself instead of asking for it from my parents. Why do I need to do house chores when my classmates have helpers. Those kinds. But as the world opened up more to me when I finished high school, I realized that many people who would say the same thing when they see my life. Why I can go to a private university when they can’t even study. Why I don’t need to think if I still have food to eat tomorrow? I started to be thankful of the littlest things, especially when I started working. My commute route was better than most people. I earn enough to still buy wants and not just needs. I have a job when people can’t get any because they have fewer opportunities. Even at this time of COVID-19, I’m lucky to have a job when there are so many retrenchments all over the world. I have it way better than many.

I remember I had a friend who told me to stop buying mid-range shoes and go for the more expensive ones because they last longer. I simply didn’t have the money to shell out triple the price, but I needed the shoes now. Personally, I would sometimes wonder why people buy designer goods such as watches, when the watch for a fraction of those prices functions the same way. But then again, some people can’t even buy watches.

On the same note, there are many people against single-use plastic and commodities in sachets. There are ordinances that prohibit it everywhere, too. I personally dislike them, though not as much as those who really advocate an eco-friendly lifestyle. And then I realized that the reason why those exist is because there is a demand. Some people can only afford sachets for day-to-day so they can allot money to more important things. Isang kahig, isang tuka. It’s not because they want to only be able to use sachets, but because their situation demands it.

Many people don’t appreciate the privileges they have, probably because they haven’t had it any other way. Not to discredit the feelings of anyone just because someone have it worse, but personally, I’d rather be grateful. Despite not living the lifestyle I think I want, I’m still in a better place than many people, especially during this health crisis.

Daily Post 365 Days of Writing Prompt: Resolved
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