We often hear people say someone has lived a ‘privileged life’ or a ‘life of privilege’ but what does that really mean?
These two statements perhaps have different meanings to each one of us depending on our own perspective and our life experiences. This week, I was interviewing a potential new staff member in one our child care centres and I came across a beautiful case of just how a ‘privileged life’ can be perceived differently.
This lady was a women of strength, she was very confident. She had achieved quite a lot in her life and I believe from listening to her story, had made a big difference in many people’s lives.
She was very passionate about life and about achieving well academically, always looking for new challenges and working hard to receive qualifications that always propelled her forward in life.
She was very articulate and well informed about a wide spectrum of subjects and very competent in many ways. I loved listening to her passions, because some of them sat well with some of my own.
This wonderful lady in her early forties has not only become successful in her own life, she also has invested a sense of empowerment into others along their journey. As the interview progressed I began to understand a little of who this lady was and what had enabled her to be such a strong confident woman.
Most people say in my interviews that they are different to other interviews they attend because I not only find out their professional ability, I also explore who they are and what makes them tick, so to speak. I am always reading between the lines and drawing out who has influenced them to get them to where they are today. It’s very interesting to find that most people really aren’t sure who they are or who they really want to become.
As we were talking this beautiful lady told me she hasn’t lived a ‘privileged life’, as some have, so I asked her what she meant by that. She told me she had lived a life of having to work hard to achieve anything in her life as she came from a family who had nothing much. She was raised by a single mother, they lived in government housing and they had very little money and life was a struggle for her, her mother and her siblings.
This is one of the reasons she likes to help others achieve well in their lives. I asked her to describe what she felt a ‘privileged life’ was. She described it as I have heard most people describe it. To her she felt it meant being born into a family of wealth where the children were spoilt with whatever material things they wanted. She described it as being in “easy street” where you had a nice house, enough money to buy whatever you pleased and you had advantages coming your way with no struggles.
I asked her to describe her upbringing, what was it like to be raised in circumstances of financial lack, living in government housing with all the challenges surrounding her as a child. As she shared, I was excited for her because I could see that she actually had lived a ‘privileged life’. You see her mother obviously was a strong woman too, she raised her children in a home full of love for each child and she totally believed in them and their potential. I could see she lived in a home filled with financial poverty but emotional wealth.
Her mother taught them to dream big, work hard, to believe in themselves and to know they could achieve anything that they put their mind and hand to. She taught them to respect other people, to recognize opportunities and go for them believing they would be successful in their pursuit.
As I kept digging into this childhood, listening and enjoying hearing about this journey of rising up out of the ashes into a life very different now to her beginnings, it struck me she had indeed lived a ‘privileged life’ and never recognised it as such for herself. I pointed out to her how I felt, because although her mother had very little material things to bless her children with, she had loads of priceless blessings that she had bestowed upon each of her children over and over again.
It was my joy and pleasure to show this beautiful accomplished lady that she was even more privileged than a lot of children who have been raised in a house of wealth and not a home of unconditional love as she was. Her mother set her children up in life to believe in themselves, to know they are as valuable as anyone else and to help others around them.
This my friends, is what I believe is a ‘privileged life’. When we as parents, show our children we love them simply because they are precious in our sight and that we believe in them and their future. We are giving them a ‘privileged life’ no matter what our finances look like, or where we live.
I want to encourage all you single parents out there who feel less as a parent. STOP THINKING THAT. You are to be honoured, this is a huge job. Take a leaf out if this lady’s mother’s book, just keep loving them, believing in them, cheering them on and you will see them grow into strong and confident, very capable adults like this lady.
I want to encourage ALL parents, give your children a ‘privileged life’ a life full of value, significance and love. Never let them doubt your love for them and your belief in them. Don’t look at where they are at now, look at where they are heading, they WILL achieve in life much more through your love and belief in them than through anything else we can give them. Instead of living a life of having nothing much, this lady really lived a life of having everything because we all long for a life of love and worth more than anything else.
It is how we are all designed, you and each one of your children. We were made to be loved, to experience unconditional love and to give love. Out of that place you live a ‘privileged life’ of abundance, purpose and satisfaction with much success.
You are all champions in my eyes, believe in your parenting and just keep loving them unconditionally.
Susanna Bateman #littlemiraclescommunity