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Living in a bubble

Why do we perceive people we have known all our lives suddenly differently? Is everyone changing?

Should everyone around us care for and to the same extent on things that agitate us ?

Social Ethics Vs Personal Ethics

You, me or someone close to us may be personally ethical, hard working, fun, kind and compassionate, loving but still be socially unfair, blind to injustice all around or inequalities in society without a need to observe unfair systems or condemn them. We could be fine with racism, caste, colour, gender, economic, political discrimination without questioning it or condemning it because it does not personally put us at a disadvantage. Or, feel deeply about some issues and indifferent to other issues. We would in most probability be gainers of the system in more ways than one and consider debates or discussions on discrimination or protests as waste of time holding society and its progress back.

The answer is privilege.

Being in a position to avoid a problem is privilege.

And, the inability to individually and separately comprehend earned privilege, unearned privilege, and circumstances and systems that helped even earned and deserved privilege to be possible in comparison to someone else.

Privilege and failure to understand privilege alone blinds one into falsely thinking that if it is not happening to me, it is not happening. And, if it is not happening to me, there is something wrong about the others because it is happening to them whereas I was smart enough to reach a point where it does not affect me. So, the individual is comfortable to look at the world through the lens of the privilege bubble, comfortably cushioned against the world, thinking that they were smart enough or have worked hard enough to deserve that bubble.

And, the same person can be very kind, helpful, generous, fun and an excellent contributor to society all along, cushioned by the bubble without an iota of emotion or guilt at the state of the world or wanting to get involved in changing it.

This contradiction of personal ethics vs social ethics is what we may see in every home, friend, community or everywhere where the nicest people you may have known all your life sounds bigoted, hate-filled or indifferent or even scornful of problems that alarm so many others. They are not interested in system corrections unless for things or aspects that affects them directly or that puts them personally at a disadvantage. This person could be me. It could be you. And, next person you are confused about their contradictions.

And, it leaves us shocked. As to how someone we thought is exactly like us, raised like us can suddenly think or operate so differently. It is nothing but the Personal Ethics vs Social Ethics score. Their Personal Ethics score remains the same since we have known them. Their Social Ethics score versus ours is suddenly bringing that difference out sharply as the world shifts at an alarming rate. So, we have someone we have known all along agitated or refusing to get agitated differently from us on issues we think affects us all or does not.

People we see eye to eye with on a personal ethics score need not see eye to eye on the Social Ethics score and people we see eye to eye with on the social ethics on one issue need not match our social ethics score on others. We need to understand this to prevent ourselves from feeling cheated or confused.

There is a great need for each one of us to examine internally what privilege bubbles we live in. And, we may have or be intentionally or circumstantially be protected by many bubbles and layers. Some bubbles we spend a lifetime to create and others we did nothing to earn. Insulated enough to proclaim that if it is not happening to me, it is not yet something worthy of my concern. Every one of us will need to examine not only our Personal ethics but what our score is on Social ethics and examine our many bubbles of privilege earned through hard work or gifted merely by social chance.

We owe it to ourselves to do that self-introspection. We can choose to not talk about it publicly and keep it a private one.

Questioning privilege and the bubbles every one of us live in, is integral to all our lives and relationships as we journey ahead.

It will decide all our futures everywhere.

- SS

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