Raising the BARR – Week ending 25 January 2019

A life of privilege is something we can all give to our kids

For most of us, when we use the phrase “life of privilege” we immediately think of money and financial wealth.  But I was struck by a recent conversation that proposed privilege in a completely different form; a form that any one of us can give to our young and it made me realise that I grew up in a life of privilege, even though we were far from being rich.

One of the most important indicators in the growth of a baby is the privilege of love and care.  Having someone in your life that offers unwavering love and support, care and kindness and making sure that you are healthy and well is a great start to life.  I am talking about a smile and tickle, a hug and a cuddle.  Money cannot offer any of this.  It can only be given by a person that cares deeply about the child.

And then there is the privilege of time invested in a growing child.  From the cot to the courts of sport and the libraries of wisdom, a young person will thrive if they are given time by caring adults.  This can be games and play, talking and singing, looking and wondering, exploring and discovering.  There is plenty of research to prove that if an adult puts down the remote control and instead gives their full and undivided attention to spending quality time with the young person, then that young person will blossom like a thousand flowers.

Books are one of the things in our modern world that give us so much opportunity and that were not available to most children in recent centuries.  But a book alone, to a child, is useless.  It takes an adult to read and explore a book with a child, for that book to come to life.  A life of privilege will include books in the house and trips to the library, with the adult and child in partnership.

Food and shelter is a gift of privilege that many would not even think twice about.  While there are plenty of families that do this incredibly well, there are others that really struggle with this essential privilege, for lots of reasons.  If you are making sure that the young people in your life are warm and comfortable and fed, then you are giving the gift of a privileged life.  If you see a young person going without, perhaps offer some of the privilege that you have, for it was not that young child that chose to be cold or hungry.

I wonder if next time you hear or are talking about a life of privilege you could perhaps think more about the wonderful gifts that are free, that we can all give, and think a little less about the, far from, almighty dollar.