The Power of Understanding Privilege

January 30, 2017

Having an understanding of any privilege and power I may hold in the therapeutic relationship is critical in order for me to understand potential barriers that could arise, to see issues from a systemic perspective, and most importantly, for any progress to be made. And I would argue that the same is true in our relationships with each other in everyday life.

To have privilege means you have the luxury of walking away from something hard, scary, or uncomfortable when it’s convenient for you. Recognizing where we hold this privilege in the world and our in our relationships is fundamental in beginning to not just understand but actually empathize with others whose story may be very different from our own so that we can then do something meaningful about the injustices that divide us. Once we begin to acknowledge this and truly examine where privilege shows up in our lives, we may be surprised to find that regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. (and all our differing views about such topics) we, as humans, are innately wired for the same things: To feel SAFE. To feel CONNECTED to something larger than just ourselves. And ultimately, to feel LOVED.

RunDC and the work I do will forever be grounded in this perspective. I will always choose to see people through this lens. It’s not naive or an oversimplification of complicated issues. It’s a basic truth about what it means to be human.

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