Privilege. I got a lesson in that during my recent little medical adventure. At the hospital, and at the doctor's office, I showed my insurance cards, and I got the care I needed. No talk at all about money.
This week, when the bills began coming in, I realized why. So far, insurance and medicare has paid everything. They knew as soon as they saw me coming that they would get their money.
So I'm wondering now, what sort of care did the people get who waited around me in the E. R. and didn't have insurance? What will their bill look like?
It is not just a question of economics, but a moral issue. Healthcare for profit is just as immoral as religion for profit. Stockholders and politicians shouldn't decide who gets care and who is excluded.
Of course, my privilege doesn't end with my medical care. I'm white. I live in a town where moneyed folk have been hanging out for a hundred years. I attend a church frequented mostly by that same sort of folk. People make assumptions based on that, and treat me accordingly. For the most part, it works out in my favor.
Over the years I've cultivated simple wants, and learned to live comfortably within my means, so I'm not quite the propertied man I might appear to be to some who don't know me. But there's no escaping the fact that I am privileged. I can deny that. I can feel guilty about it. Or I can give thanks for my undeserved good fortune and look for ways I can spread it around.