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Power & Privilege: Analysis and hopes - Essay Example

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Vision for self. I recognize that while I may not be invested with great amounts of power at this point in my life, I am a privileged individual. I have a roof over my head with enough to eat, my basic needs are being met, and I am improving both myself and my future prospects by pursuing higher education…
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Power & Privilege: Analysis and hopes
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Patricia James YOUR Power and Privilege - Vision for the Future For discussion purposes, this paper will serve asa guide to crafting a personal vision regarding the use of power and privilege within our society.
Vision for self. I recognize that while I may not be invested with great amounts of power at this point in my life, I am a privileged individual. I have a roof over my head with enough to eat, my basic needs are being met, and I am improving both myself and my future prospects by pursuing higher education. That is a lot more than some can say for themselves. I believe that with this privilege comes a responsibility; one that I can undertake with effectiveness if I will simply be willing to use what I have to help others. I see individual power and privilege as commodities to be used for the greater good, not tools for abuse or greed. Personally, I don't need three cars as much as the homeless need housing. If I have the personal resources to indulge my every whim, then I have the power to help others. The key is self restraint with a vision of the greater good. Within that framework, my vision for myself is to always be aware of the condition of others, never taking the benefits I enjoy for granted, and use the power and privilege I have to help those who are disenfranchised or impoverished. Like anyone, I want to use my power and privilege to be comfortable; but I also want to use it to improve the condition of others. As an individual, I know that I cannot change the world; but I can contribute to helping ease the burden through acts of kindness and service to those less fortunate than myself.
Vision for larger community. In a similar way, I believe that the community should be a place where there is equity and parity between the members; at least on a fundamental level. While I don't advocate a radical and forced redistribution of wealth, I do think that those with power and privilege in our society need to take proactive steps in helping those who suffer the absence of basic human necessities. Again, with power and privilege comes the responsibility to do good. As we have seen throughout this course, history is full of examples of the abuse of power and the use of privilege to simply maintain the status quo. In the community at large, my vision is to see individuals educated beyond racism, greed, and such selfishness. I think people should voluntarily give a portion of their time and resources to the disenfranchised, and use their political voice to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. I don't want the use of law to be necessary for effecting social change, but I recognize that it has been in the past and will probably be required in the future. In my idealistic community, however, that would never be necessary because we would all voluntarily extend our resources to help those who are in need.
Works Cited
Alperovitz, Gar. "Taking the Offensive on Wealth." 3 Feb. 2005. The Nation. 15 Aug. 2006. .
Johnson, Allan G. Privilege, Power, and Difference. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 2001.
Peters, Cynthia. "Talking to Kids about Class." 3 Aug. 2000. Znet Daily Commentaries. 15 Aug. 2006. . Read More
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