I’m not exactly sure when it started, but at some point in recent history, the tone of the world started to make me feel guilty for who I am. Fundamentally, I mean.
Not everything about me, but specifically this: I’m a white, 30-something, middle-class, American, Christian, heterosexual male. I belong to what is essentially the least marginalized, most privileged group of humans alive today. I’ll never truly understand what it’s like to be…
- Abjectly Poor
- A Cat
Now, I’m certain that if I asked anyone who advocates for cats or for women’s rights or racial equality or whatever, they most certainly would not say that being what I am is wrong in and of itself. They would agree that I’m not fundamentally a mistake, and there’s nothing morally wrong with being W3MCACHM. (Trust me, it’ll catch on.)
The thing is, I’m not talking about any one person making me feel this phantom guilt. It’s the tone of media. The conversations I read online. The issues du jour. And seeing others in my little racial-sexual-religious-socio-economic class vilified (c’mon, you know it’s true), often just for the spectacle of it.
I’m not denying that I come from an incredibly privileged perspective, relatively speaking. And I’m definitely not denying the importance of bringing social issues to light and addressing them. I’m not going to say “my life is harder than you know”, or “you don’t know where I come from”, or anything of the like. Please don’t lump me with the All Lives Matter crowd, and please don’t think that I’m crying about how tough it is to be a white boy. Because frankly, it’s not.
What I am saying is that if I’m going to success at this 10-month journey I’m on, I have to start with what I accept as an axiom: I’m flawed, but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with who I am.
There is plenty of stuff in my life to feel guilty about. Plenty. Simply being W3MCACHM is not one of them.
Those are things about me that I didn’t necessarily choose, and are mostly impossible to change. So I shouldn’t feel any shame about them, and they aren’t really things to be particularly proud of, either. They’re just who I am. Part of my makeup. And feeling guilty for them is just as ridiculous as bigotry cast at anyone different from me.
Moving forward I’m going to remind myself daily, as a part of this process, that though I have flaws that I’m working on, I am not fundamentally a mistake. I am not a moral aberration. I’m uniquely me, and that’s totally okay.
Necessary Disclaimer Note: I’m most certainly not making a case for not drawing attention to the social issues that are so incredibly important today like racism, sexism, etc. If you think I am, you’re missing the point of this post, and likely this here blog thingy.