The Whine of the Overprivileged – Resolutions 2009

“There are so few games that are good!” “My internet isn’t as blazing fast as it’s supposed to be!” “This coffee tastes slightly burnt!”

Complaining can be fun. Sometimes, it’s even cathartic. But I get to a point, sometimes, when the reality of the middle-class white privilege I live in hits home.

I’ve been on hold with my local cable provider for the past 10 minutes. I’ve got an “estimated six minute hold time” ahead of me. I’m reading some gaming sites, some Twitter scroll, etc. I’m seeing that people, especially us connected, well-off people, like to complain. We are well off enough to afford luxury items, like computers and game consoles. Some of us have even more than one of each. We can have always on cable TV and internet, and we complain when it’s not up to snuff. We make an online lifestyle about complaining how Starbucks is not as smooth and mellow as we think our local roaster’s coffee is.

There are people, right now this instant, living outside in my town. My town is cold. As in below 0˚ F right now. There are people who cannot afford housing living outside as I write these words. There are people all over the world, living lives of struggle, and pain, and tribulation. What am I doing? Complaining to my Twitter buddies about a game I rented through the mail.

I’m not saying we need to give up our comforts and our lifestyles. But there are times when I see what I have passion for as truly distracting from the reality of the world. Videogames are fun, and have a cultural impact. They help reflect and shape the world I live in. But the world I live in also includes those who are hungry, and poor, and have untreated mental illness. I need to remember to cast my gaze their way from time to time. To think about and reflect on what their lives mean to mine. How my privilege is somehow connected to their difficulties. And how I can make a difference in the lives of people who cannot afford game consoles, internet of any kind, or a Grande Mocha Latte or two a day.

I guess that’s my New Year Resolution. How about you?

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