Between awareness and privilege.

Every morning, when I eat my homemade bread with homemade jam, I read the newspaper. I read about the decision of the Grand Jury in the case of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. I read about the attack in a synagogue in Jerusalem. About the idea of depriving Arab as the second official language in Israel/Palestine. About the situation of the refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other places – coming to Germany, living in degrading accommodations, having no one who cares about them, struggling with their live story. Reading that refugees started another hunger strike, demanding better living conditions and their right to stay in the country.

Then I start my normal day. Think about university and what I have to prepare. Theoretical studies about “education as a way of democratization”. Maybe think about the weekend what I can do with my friends, where the next party is going on. And then it comes to my thoughts about the zero-waste-challenge: What do I have to prepare for my lunch? Do I need to buy another couple of vegetables? When is the market open? Where else can I get the waste-free stuff I need for lunch or dinner?

Is this reality? Is this really my life?

For me, this is a privilege. The whole zero-waste-challenge. I sometimes feel so bad about being able to do this. It starts every morning by reading the newspaper and realizing that there are happening things in the world, I even can’t imagine. It continues when I hear from friends how they like the idea of the challenge, but then say they couldn’t afford it financially themselves. My parents telling me that they are proud of having a daughter like me, but then they have to admit they can’t do it the same radical way I do it, because they have to work and then it would be too much effort to think about where to get waste-free products.

With this blog-post I don’t want to dissolve the ambivalent feeling I have (what a stupid idea, of course I cannot dissolve this by writing about my feelings). This is just something I have to live with! I know that I can just stop doing the challenge. But would I feel better then? Probably not. I would find another aspect in my life that makes me realize how privileged I am. It seems like this is something I will always have to include into my self-concept.

…there is a “but”: I can use this privilege I have. I can still tell people about the challenge. I can still think about the different options where I can buy waste-free products. I can still read the newspaper and think about the conflict in Israel/Palestine, about the refugees, fleeing from their home countries in the hope to find a better place, about the African-Americans in the USA and their doubts about the US jurisdiction and so much more.

This is maybe what I call the “in-between” of awareness and privilege. I want to raise awareness in the circle I live in but I also know about the privilege I assume to have.

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