Self-Imposed Privilege

Even those who call themselves champions of every man may set themselves apart as members of an elite group to which only the select few may belong.  That  is why I can be a skeptic.  But not always.  And not today.

Doctors belong to an elite group of people who have studied the ways of human anatomy and human physiology and chemistry. They claim to cure sickness, repair injuries, and maintain the health of their patients, all the while lining their pockets with the hard-earned cash of others on whom they practice their wizardry.  Lawyers belong to an elite group of men and women who practice a peculiar type of magic, whereby they turn common human interactions and simple concepts of right and wrong into a writhing den of deadly serpents safely traversed only by their fellow attorneys. Even poets belong to an elite group, professing to make sense of the world within and around us with words only they have the capacity to properly weave.

The preceding paragraph paints, with my own words, an undeserved picture. While there are no doubt self-serving doctors, attorneys, and poets, there are many decent ones whose lives are dedicated to doing good. It is so easy to smear entire classes of people without a second thought. It is more difficult to exercise reason and to discern uninformed arrogance that masquerades as wit.

Our challenge, always, is to temper trust with suspicion and certainty with doubt, yet to avoid allowing ourselves to become hardened.

The privilege of knowing one’s own view of the world constitutes truth is self-imposed.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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