It's no longer possible to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going. If you believe in why Films For Action exists, we hope you'll become a supporter on Patreon. A monthly donation of $1, $3, $5 or more per month will really help!
My Favorite Definition of Privilege
My Favorite Definition of Privilege
By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org
Jul 31, 2016

My favorite definition of privilege is 'thinking something's not a problem because it's not a problem to you.'

This is embodied most poignantly to me by the fact that most people in our culture consider activism to be optional- something they can take part in or not, like bowling or biking, rather than something essential or necessary.

The thing that I see uniting many people across privilege and oppression intersections is the cultural tendency for individuals, when facing a personal problem, to seek individual solutions, not collective ones.

This is just a large part of the population - whether privileged and insulated from so many problems, or oppressed and just trying to get by and survive within the logic of the system.

This belief in seeking individual solutions seems to be the reining ideology in our society.

I'm thankful for the people who are rejecting this logic - both the underprivileged who become activists as a matter of survival as well as the privileged, who have enough empathy to fight for a cause that may not directly impact them. They see that belief is illusion. The suffering of others does impact them and it compels them to action.

Long story short- kudos to everyone who chooses to be an activist and rejects the ideological hegemony of Western society, which benefits from us all being apathetic.

All power goes to the people that see their personal happiness and security is bound up with all people meeting their common needs for happiness and security.

Our liberation will come from personally recognizing this truth within ourselves.

When facing a problem or seeing others face a problem - we don't just worry about individual fixes - we seek collective ones.

There is unity in recognizing that your problems and my problems are one and the same.

4.4 ·
4
Featured Films
The Staging Post: Courageous People Never Give Up! (2017)
61 min The Staging Post follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim. Stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats' and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which inspired a refugee education revolution. A real-life...
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than looking in a traditional neighborhood, they...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the...
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There...
Trending Today


Love Films For Action? Become a Patron!

Our Patreon campaign is now live! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year and become 100% member supported. A monthly pledge of just $1 -5 per month x a few thousand awesome people will ensure we can continue our work and grow our impact across the world. Click here to join.

Join us on Facebook
My Favorite Definition of Privilege