Being born a white, middle class American male undoubtedly comes with a limitless bounty of benefits. The struggles that most modern human beings have to face on a daily basis make the insignificance of any routine discontent seem laughable. On a macroscopic scale, this dichotomy is even more ridiculous.
As Eddie Vedder so aptly chanted, “He won the lottery by being born. Big hand slapped a white male American.”
But the only reality we know is our own, and perception can be a wily thing. I look at the daggers I’ve dodged, the nearly-impossible summits I’ve reached, and the countless pitfalls I’ve leapt, and I wonder exactly what that lottery ticket looks like. As I find myself standing back at the starting line for the umpteenth time, I can only imagine what this fight would feel like wearing a different color skin, in a different city, or without the love and support of friends and family to provide emotional safety nets along the line.
Surviving in today’s world is like walking through an infinite corridor, following a flash of light somewhere in the distance. Unfortunately, without warning, random pieces of the floor can disappear beneath your feet and occasionally massive boulders chase behind you in some theme park-replicated Indiana Jones living nightmare. It’s a wonder any of us make it through life…alive.
Questions and concerns, worries and wonder. There’s a lot taking up valuable brain real estate. We have self-constructed familial and social circles, and we spin inside those centrifuges, hoping that the sediment will settle. But being dizzy is a big part of those passage rites, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic position.
We’re all just doing our best not to wobble and fall, one shaky and carefully-planted step at a time.
4 thoughts on “The Keys to the Kingdom Can’t Open All the Locks”
I can only “like” this because I can’t begin to put into words how much sense this makes. You always manage to put these ideas in to the right words.
Thank you, Diane. Thoughts surface and then find their way to the page. I appreciate you always taking the time to read my words.
This is an incredibly thoughtful piece. Blair. You made a very valid statement. I love the closing sentence.
Thank you, Ellen! I appreciate that. It’s certainly how I feel these days. Hope you’re doing well, my favorite adventurer!