Check Your Privilege
The Daily Stoic for July 28th, “Check Your Privilege”.
“Some people are sharp and others dull; some are raised in a better environment, others in worse, the latter, having inferior habits and nurture, will require more by way of proof and careful instruction to master these teachings and to be formed by them—in the same way that bodies in a bad state must be given a great deal of care when perfect health is sought.”
—MUSONIUS RUFUS, LECTURES, 1.1.33–1.3.1–3.
When I was 5 years old, my father seated me on his lap in front of a Commodore 64. He told me “this is the future, see?”, and showed me how to load and run a program (actually, a game where two figures that looked like cowboys had to shoot the other one in order to win).
That moment actually defined a big part of my life. I grew up surrounded by computers, and I was programming at age 7. I used to copy and paste program codes and instructions from popular computer magazines and modify it to add my personal touch.
With time, my interest in computers grew, and I ended up studying computer science engineering at college.
Check Your Privilege
Some days ago, I accepted to lend a hand as a trainer for Java programming students, here in Riga. The students have all very different backgrounds and knowledge about coding, programming languages, etc.
There’s a very promising boy that, just being 14, can beat most of the grown-up guys and girls in the class.
It made me realize how lucky I am to have been raised in such an encouraging family. Not only did my father laid the foundations for my love for computers, science, and programming, but my mother also had an essential role in the way I developed my love for reading and writing. For books and words.
I owe them both for that. They didn’t have a lot of money, but they gave something way better: a passion for experimenting, learning and exploring stuff on my own. A desire to keep on reading, creating and doing stuff.
We all have had different opportunities in life. I may not have inherited the best ones if you compare them with others, but I certainly feel privileged.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Check Your Privilege”, reminded me how privileged I feel for having been raised in a family where I was explicitly encouraged to learn, experiment, and create stuff. A family that did set the scene for my love for computers, books, science and a lot more.