danah's always talking about privilege and I've started to think about this more consciously than before. Just about everyone here in Davos is privileged. Some have been born into privilege and some have gained it through their work. Some people carry their privilege well, others don't. There are people who seem to gloat in and flaunt their privilege, constantly bragging and doing the nudge-nudge-wink-wink. Others carry it naturally. Others seem to feel bad or strange having been chosen to be among the privileged. Some seem to guiltily enjoy the privilege.
Some seem to believe that the privilege they have comes with the responsibility to use it to help others, while others seem to think that privilege is something they deserve to use for their own personal gain.
It's interesting to watch. I wish I could do a survey of all of the people here and ask questions like, "Do you think you deserve the privilege you have, and why?" "What do you intend to do with the privilege and do you think you owe it to the world to focus your energies on helping those without privilege?" Then there are deeper questions about whether people are helping underprivileged people to gain more recognition, out of guilt, out of love, out of a sense of responsibility or some other reason.
I haven't attended any of the philanthropy sessions, but maybe that's what they talk about.
I personally think I deserve some of the privilege that I've gained, but that there are many who don't have as much privilege as I do who deserve it more. I think I owe a lot of my privilege to where I was born, the way my mother raised me, the people I've met and an odd combination of networking skills. I do feel extremely responsible for using the privilege that I currently have to solve as many of the world's problems as possible. I continue to remind myself that the particular serious of events that have put me in the position that I am in has more to do with the people around me than anything else and I owe it to them to carry this privilege well.