Lettered Betters, Part I

you cannot help someone else by wasting your own life in a twisted sense of solidarity. All we can do is honor the life we’ve been given because it’s an insult to those who lack to throw away what we have” – Hetty Eliot

This statement resonates with me; I have been trying to remember to remind myself of the relationship between privilege (good fortune) and responsibility (opportunity).

Sometimes the mnemonic that works is thinking of your fortune as a coin: the other side is responsibility – work to be done for others, and the world, by extension.

Everybody has fortune of some size; their coin might be big or it might be seemingly small, at any given moment. But when you have one side of it, you just as certainly have the other. Just flip that thing over.

The flip-side of this is that when you find yourself somewhat burdened by some responsibility, remember that it’s attached to gifts you’ve been given to bear it – gifts others would gladly be given, given the chance or choice.

There is no separating the “good” from the “bad” – they are all a part of something bigger, as are we.

But that is but one woman’s opinion among a very many.