The Privilege of Choice

I have started this posting several times now. Each time, it quickly turned into drama and angst and unanswerable musings on the mysteries of life. That, though, is not the point of this...all of this: this blog, this commitment, this new life. I have spent a long time stuck in hyperbole. 

I choose to change.

The problem, though, is the very real existence of my seemingly exaggerated examples. There really are people cooking their dinners over cow-crap fueled fires. There really are single dads staring into empty cabinets wondering how to help their kids feel a little better. That cough, after all, has been keeping them up for a month now, shouldn't it be nearly finished? There really are people ducking bullets, ducking militia, and ducking under the overpass to sleep tonight. How can I do anything like this, this self-centered act of correcting my poorly made financial decision, when there are people who can't do anything at all? 

Even now, as I type this, I am on the verge of defeat and paralysis. 

O, I am made of multitudes. You see, I am not about to sell all I have and give it to the poor. As long as I'm being honest, I'm not sure I even want to take the time write a letter for an Amnesty Campaign, or, may God forgive me, to my Compassion kid. I think I suffer from a poorly prescribed cocktail of fashionable woe, politically correct dread, good old fashioned selfish ambition, and a profound, undeniable calling to a simple life of compassion, justice and love. It's not pretty. And, unfortunately, the intellectual, social-climbing  argonaut in me, the one who likes to talk about how rotten the world can be, the one who likes to wax poetic about injustice abroad (while rarely working to correct injustice down the street), the one who likes, yes, likes, to be paralyzed by the enormity of the sufferings of strangers, has guided this ship for a long, long time.  

I choose to change. 

My privilege - my white, male, middle-class, educated, American, heterosexual, healthy, loved privilege - can be a weight dragging my into the depths of despair, or it can act as a boost toward something new. I am struggling to mute the argonaut - "of course it can boost you, you're standing on the shoulders and heads and bones of the oppressed." And, the argonaut is right. But, I don't think we are intended right now to commit our lives to radical displacement. I don't think. I know, however, that we are intended to change the way we deal with our finances. I know we are intended to restructure our priorities. I know we are intended to live with our eyes clear, our ears open and our hearts full so that we can be, if only for a moment, undivided. 

It requires privilege to make so many choices. It is a privilege to make this one. 

I choose to change.

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