I really relate to these sentiments, so strongly. I've given this exact same speech about a hundred times, to myself and others. It is utterly and wholly valid. I also have a different perspective on it than I used to, so read on if you want to. If you don't, then please don't.

I think the crux of the problem is judgment. We judge ourselves as good for being highly successful, and therefore, in order for us to be good, others must be bad. Those of us who are not highly successful therefore tend to judge ourselves as bad, until we realize that this is all unjust and unfair and has nothing whatsoever to do with our personal shortcomings. Then, in order for us to be good, those who are "highly successful but think it's all about their own personal achievement" must be bad.

Ultimately, the question of Who Is Good and Who Is Bad is the question of "When there is conflict, who do we think should be the one to give in, and who should be the one to hold their ground?" Until the conflict gets resolved, someone is always a victim of unjust behavior, and someone is always a villain inflicting unjust behavior.

What I've found, for myself (speaking only for me) is that saying "This person needs to change what they're doing!" is a kind of proverbial levy, holding back the tsunami wave of fear and shame of "I need to change what I'm doing."

From reading this article, even from the title, "Come clean," it's clear this is causing you pain. I really, really know how that feels -- I've felt this pain so often, especially as a privileged person watching other privileged people not realize they're privilege as I learn my own. It's like quitting an addiction and getting really zealous about addiction-quitting. I know it because I'm doing it right now.

The questions we seem to be asking about privilege these days are fundamentally: "Is it me, or is it just circumstantial? Am I good, or is it just privilege? Am I bad if I think I'm good when it's just privilege? Is anyone good? Is everyone cancelled?" and so on. You seem to have your answer, for now at least, and that is a totally valid and fine answer! Again, read this only if you want to. For me, I've found that answer keeps wavering back and forth, never being applied fully, always in conflict with itself, until I just walk away from the battleground altogether. Condemn no one, including myself. Allow myself to condemn, because condemning myself for not-not-condemning is still condemnation.

We can just drop the game. We all do it here and there - give up on the judgments, I mean. We're all getting better at applying it universally.

So, is it nature or nurture, individual achievement or privilege, circumstance or character? The answer is Yes. The answer is, There Is No Difference. The answer is, The Self Is Whatever Fits The Hollow Left By Its Circumstances. The Self Is Not Fixed And Is An Active Experience That Is Forever Contextual, Adaptable And Responsive So What Does.

Or, as Octavia Butler put it, "All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change."

Truth is something we learn from as we wield, and in learning, wield it better. So, I hope none of this response was taken as a judgment, because it truthfully isn't. I agree with Angela Davis when she says, "I am done accepting what I cannot change. I am changing what I cannot accept." I also think that there is a big difference between accepting what you cannot change, and learned helplessness. Between actively embracing something, and putting up with it.

When should you do each? Shit, I can't tell you that. I'm not you ;)

Anyways, this response ended up really, really long. I really do understand where you're coming from on this. I know how painful it is to feel that way, and how completely and utterly valid it is. I decided I didn't want to feel pain like this anymore, and this is how I've stopped feeling that pain - in case it helps :)

Thanks for writing this. It was a really great piece.

God, this is Anna. Writing for a world where many worlds fit. www.allgodsnomasters.com