Whether we like it or not, we’re all privileged. In different ways. In different amounts. But we’ve all got some type of advantage over others. And sometimes… sometimes we don’t even realize we’re privileged. No, not in the classic way you’ve probably read about on the internet! Some privileges don’t actually sound like privileges so some folks don’t realize that’s what they are. In other words, they’re ‘invisible.’
Redditor Woo_loo asked their fellow online users to name a privilege that most people don’t realize is a privilege and their thread went viral. From pointing out that feeling safe in your own home is something a lot of us take for granted to having the ability to read or even a bed to sleep in, some of these responses hit home hard with the simple fact that we take so many wonderful things for granted.
Have a read through some of the best responses that redditors have answered with and upvote the ones you agree with 100%. And be sure to read on for Bored Panda’s interview with the original poster of the thread, redditor Woo_loo themselves.
Living without constant physical pain. The idea that most people just exist without nonspecific pain is baffling to me.
Feeling safe in your own home. Not worrying about rats, mice, roaches, bed bugs, bricks being thrown through windows, violence outside, break ins.
Woo_loo’s thread got 12k upvotes on the r/AskReddit community, over 7k responses, as well as a whopping 92% upvote rate. What’s more, the redditor got 58 medals for their efforts in bringing such an important and intriguing discussion to the forefront.
Redditor Woo_loo was very open with Bored Panda about what inspired them to create the thread and the fact that they didn’t expect their submission to “blow up like this” on the net.
Being able to hold the hand of your partner in public without harassment or the fear of something bad happening to you.
Waking up and just being able to see. What’s that like? No glasses, no contacts. Just wow.
Woo_loo explained to us that what inspired them to turn to r/AskReddit with their question was their line of thinking about all of the things that we have but we’re not constantly aware of.
“I was thinking about how people always say that we should be grateful for things like clean water and education so I wanted to know what else we were taking for granted that isn’t talked about,” they said.
Being able to walk alone, especially at night, without any worry at all.
Having a bed. When I was ages 8-11, my siblings and I had to sleep on the floor because we lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment.
I remember turning twelve and finally getting to sleep in my own bed after three years of not having one. It was euphoria.
In the redditor’s opinion, all of us, no matter how rich or poor, happy or miserable, all of us have something to be grateful for. However, Woo_loo pointed out to Bored Panda that they don’t expect that anyone’s constantly thinking about their privileges and how much they appreciate them. Imagine how exhausting it would be to always be grateful for hundreds of small wonders, every hour of every day. There wouldn’t be any time for living and making great experiences.
Sleeping through the night
Being in countries where you are able to speak insults to, openly criticise or question authority without going to jail
Fresh water from the tap. Imagine living in rural Africa. Or Flint, Michigan.
One of the things that Woo_loo believes (especially after reading through all of the plentiful responses that their question received on Reddit) is that we’ve all got a responsibility to help those in need and those in a worse position than ours. In short, the redditor is a humanitarian with a very honest desire to lend others a helping hand.
Having pets. So many people discard them like they're playthings over the most mundane reasons.
Being healthy instead of disabled and chronically ill.
“We should try to help people acquire the privileges that we take for granted and be a lot more aware of it. Not everyone has the same chances in life but we can make it as fair as possible,” the redditor opened up to Bored Panda, alluding to the idea that we’ve all got to do our best to ensure that society lives by the principle of equality of opportunity.
Having a family that loves you. I grew up in a pretty loving family. It was somewhat dysfunctional, to be sure, but my mother loves me as does my sister. So did my grandparents. We were always a close family and we helped each other when possible. We were always supportive too.
I went to school with people whose parents couldn't have [cared] less about them. I mean straight up, just didn't give a [damn] if their kids lived or died. If your parents actively tried to keep you off drugs and off the streets and were emotionally supportive and not abusive, count your blessings.
When Alzheimers hits, your brain is basically dead. That disease is heartbreaking for every party involved
Being conventionally beautiful
It gets you more than dates. It influences prison sentences; attractive people are less likely to get convicted, and more likely to get lighter sentences when they are convicted.
Job interviews, assessments of intelligence and academic performance are all biased to favour good looking people. They are also more likely to benefit from kindess from strangers
If you’re not familiar with equality of opportunity as a concept, it’s all about making sure that everyone’s able to compete for social status, as maintaining high social mobility. Or, in other words, it’s all about looking at people’s merits, efforts, and skills, not the social position they were born in. To sound all pop-culture for a moment, I’ll say that equality of opportunity is the rags-to-riches myth that the American Dream is built on.
Being able to read.
In Woo_loo’s opinion, having access to clean water and proper education are the most basic privileges that absolutely everyone should have in their lives. Without them, you’re barely surviving. “Dirty water can result in many problems that most of us don’t have, but I also think that education is the most important because it's the backbone of society and people need it to improve their lives and establish a better place to live in.”
Not having social anxiety. Imagine how breezy life must be. The amount of effort I have to put into doing normal things like checking out at the grocery store is incredible. I keep telling people that I got better over the years, but it's not so much that social interactions get less scary but more like I'm better at getting ready for said social interaction... or better at pretending that I'm uh, "normal." I'm almost 30 and I still feel like a seven year old who's mom left them at the grocery line to grab something real quick.
Having indoor plumbing
The redditor candidly shared their opinion that we should all stop acting like all of these privileges, small and big, don’t exist. “Everyone has some kind of advantage in life that others don’t and I'm not talking about the privileges that people talk about on Twitter to cancel someone, but the ones that are so natural to us that people don’t even realize that they exist.”
Having a roof over your head.
Those that work jobs that don't make a living wage have no means to provide for it. Thus they are forced in to unsafe slums or having house mates.
Every day when I pull in to my drive way I reflect on this daily. There is something to be said about the peace of mind knowing you have a welcoming home waiting for you once your done work.
Like many things we grow accustom to having something with no expectations of change, this is something I'm always grateful and respectful of.
Being able to complain about getting bored/not being able to socialize during a pandemic. If you're able to flourish or even live comfortably during these times, that's a privilege.
Woo_loo continued: “By making life as fair as possible and establishing a system that helps people who are at the bottom of society and helping them get back on their feet instead of punishing them, we can help them acquire the privileges.” Are you up for the challenge, dear Pandas?
Education. Where I'm from education is paid through (very high) taxes. We even "get paid" so we can focus on school and not being forced to drop out or take a giant student debt.
my partner has to use IV nutrition because her stomach muscles don’t work properly preventing her from digesting food. Until I met her I never considered being able to eat as something i’m lucky to have.
Being able to go to a store without worrying if your wheelchair can fit through the aisles of if they have front steps.
Do you think that all of these things are privileges that most people don’t realize are privileges? Why do you think we tend to take so many of these for granted? How many of these privileges do you have without noticing them in your daily lives, dear Pandas? Share your thoughts and any extra examples of unseen privileges in the comment section below.
Reliable electricity and clean running water.
Being mentally healthy. Basically, my childhood was such that as an adult I have an overactive amygdala - the part of the brain that handles strong emotions and instincts like fight/flight.
As I’ve gotten treatment and medication, and as my situation has gotten better, I’ve had quite a few ‘whoa’ moments where it really hits me that this is how a lot of people naturally see the world.
A steady income, even one that means living paycheck to paycheck. You have money to support yourself and the means to get assistance where you can. A lot of people don’t have that.
Note: this post originally had 97 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.