I spent the other day in the lap of luxury. I was enjoying my Christmas present from Trever and getting a relaxing massage at the most beautiful hotel I know of.
I sat in an overstuffed chair, in a perfectly temperatured room, drinking hot tea and dozing in and out of sleep while foggily wondering what it must be like for all the other women. The ones who seemed to do this on a regular basis. What must their lives be like – to have it all, but never have it all. Who is missing out on life? Them? Me? Both of us? I had this flash moment of arrogance birthed from pity that was really just a façade for jealousy deep down, and I thought...oh me, I prefer the farm. I think we’re meant to get a little dirty. We’re meant to work hard and get rough skin and sob over the brokenness of the world and try our best to help even when it hurts.
I was relaying these thoughts to a coworker who responded, “Yes, but if all you know is privilege, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.” In a way the privileged, if they aren’t aware, can live a candy-coated life in a diamond bubble never understanding some very real parts of life. And then a news flash...oh wait that’s me. I’m in the top 1%. I help the broken, but generally I’m not the broken. Rough skin - I pay extra for organic lotion that smells of lavender. I volunteered on an organic farm for kicks because I have the luxury to do so and it’s a novelty for me to work hard. In the world’s standards all I’ve ever known has been the lap of luxury.
I’m going to South Africa in a few weeks with a mental health team to help develop a lay counseling curriculum for local churches working with those who have been traumatized in the townships. I haven’t even been there and the trip is already ripping me apart. In reviewing our methods for trauma counseling that we have studied at our fancy universities, that we paid tens of thousands of dollars to attend, we realize that some of our methods don’t work. Helping someone work through trauma when they are probably going home to the perpetrator that night…that’s a whole different ball game. Helping someone see that the whole world isn’t dangerous just because they had a dangerous experience is a little different when their reality is actually that dangerous.
There is a lot we can do, but I’m keenly aware of how much we can’t. I’m just going to set a huge chunk of my pretty little degree aside, probably sob for a minute, and link arms with friends to make the tiniest little difference in a reality I’ll never understand. I'm privileged, educated and wealthy. I am those other women at the spa who have it all but never have it all. I guess I'm just convicted to do something with it all.
Also a shameless plug, if you want to donate to our trip we would be so grateful for you generosity. Click HERE for details.