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4th of July

July 5, 2006

Wow what a wonderful day!
What a long day…
Woke up at seven to meet Matt at 7.15 for a 5k road race we did at 8. We got out of the house and got checked in, and I remembered how much I love runner crowds. Now I’ve gotta see if I’m motivated enough to do the Run Through Hell. Ran the race and made my goals: under 30min and didn’t puke, though the last was a very near thing. Very good time. Then we got some food, found the housemates, and went to the parade. After that there was more food, and a Meijers run after Matt left. An adventure was had looking for fake tattoos, which I’m still sporting. The afternoon featured the shuttle launch and girl talk. Then in the evening there was frantic grill preparations, and tracking down of the invited guests. We made a lot of food and ate a lot of food. Katie got us all out in the road in a cherry pit spitting contest which she then won. Erin and Alicia finally showed and we got out the guinea pigs to play, before returning them in favor of sparklers. They let me light all the fireworks, except for when I decided to do four little ones at once and called for assistants. Then more sparklers, talking, and to bed.
Exhausting, but so wonderful. One of those days that went by in a flash.

Patrick’s graduation made me think of Adam’s, three years ago. The student speaker chose a topic I really liked: if society chooses to privilege you, what are you going to do about it? Those are words have stuck with me since then. The point of the speech was simple: everyone sitting there listening to her (and everyone reading this entry) is privileged. Education, wealth, health, we’ve been granted the opportunity to have these things by luck or what have you, as well as our own hard work. We weren’t born in another place or time, we were born in (or moved to) America, and have been granted all the opportunities that come with that favored location. What responsibility comes with that privilege? Most of us can claim even more, by pointing out allegiance with majority groups from white and male to rich and over-educated. We are, though cliche, the leaders of tomorrow. When we, with our classmates, enter the work force and begin our lives as those in charge of things, will we remember our privilege? Will we remember how lucky geography, time, and genetics have been with us? To the straight white Christian males out there, you are the most elite demographic on the planet. Will you complain of the disadvantage it is, or will you take it in stride and remember those born into other demographics? As for the others in that, and this, audience, your demographics aren’t that far from the most-privileged demographic, so exemption isn’t valid.
You have been privileged, whether you asked for it or not, and now it is up to you to decide what to do with that.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 5, 2006 8:52 pm

    Yay, Shuttle launch!
    Boo (yay?) Ken Lay suicide!
    But seriously, though. The Shuttle needs to be retired. They need a lift vehicle that’s not based on a 1970s platform.
    As for privilege, I intend on making lots of money, and donating a chunk of it to medical charities. As for “help others who are less fortunate,” I don’t feel much, frankly. There are 6 billion people in the world, 5.8 billion are less well off than I am. About 3 billion are much less fortunate. That’s a lot of people to feel you owe something to, all of a sudden.
    Personally, I’m not intent on directly changing the world in some profound way, but maybe help others do that. There’s always something to sponsor.

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