Yesterday, I talked about how the changes I want to make in my life all promise a lot of effort, even pain, with no guarantee of arrival.
I’ve been thinking about that since I wrote it, and it occurs to me just how fortunate I am.
The goals I have to struggle toward are self-actualization goals. The first four levels of Maslow’s needs hierarchy are pretty much taken care of.
I have a good job (one I enjoy most of the time) with benefits and truly good co-workers.
There is plenty of food in our panty, fridge, and deep freeze, and money to eat out of we don’t feel like cooking
Our house is safe, dry, un-infested, and everything works.
I live in a safe neighborhood.
I only drive about 2 miles to work.
As a white (cis, het) man, the world is an infinitely safer place for me than it is for most other Americans.
I have a loving wife and daughter.
I have an extended family, and we love each other (even my in-laws, which I understand makes me really lucky).
Truthfully, my stakes are low. If I fail at these personal goals, I will be upset with myself, and my life will not improve.
But my kid won’t starve, I won’t lose my house, I won’t be raped and then watch my rapist get 6 months in prison, and I won’t be gunned down while buying a bb gun at Wal-Mart.
We all want to improve ourselves and our lives, but it’s easy to lose track and think that if we can, anyone can. For people like me, that kind of thinking is part of the problem.