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One of Brian’s Favorite Quotes
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
Opinion: Ah, To Be Young, Rich, White, Male, College-Educated, Straight, And In Love (by Herbert Marshall)
I may be getting on in years, but I still consider myself a bit of a romantic. Why, just today, I was strolling through the park when I happened to
There’s really nothing quite like it.
When you’re in your twenties, a man, descended from Anglo-Saxon genes, born into immense luxury, able-bodied, surrounded by friends, family, and authority figures who support you, mentally alert, straight, possessing a degree from a respected four-year institution, and head over heels in love, the world just seems like a magical place, doesn’t it? The sun shines brighter, the breeze blows sweeter, and it feels like you’re on top of the world! Anyone who’s ever been captivated like that and has had all the advantages life has to offer handed to them on a silver platter because of their race, class, family history, and education level knows exactly what I’m talking about.
I mean, just knowing that you’ve got that special someone—as well as the monumental opportunities afforded to you by being an affluent white male in his twenties who was born into a democratic society with limitless social mobility—can make you feel like the luckiest man alive. Yes, when you’re in love and the recipient of every possible benefit imaginable—be it lifelong financial stability or peerless social stature—it feels like it’s just you, the object of your enchantment, and your unshakeable position within the top echelon of privilege. Nothing else matters.
Just think about how rare young love is! What a special thing it is to have found someone who truly cares about you! And, similarly, how special it is to have never faced discrimination due to your race, gender, sexuality, religious preference, or social class; to live in a safe, crime-free neighborhood; to have enjoyed a stable childhood in which you never felt afraid for yourself or your loved ones; to possess a strong, healthy body and mind that allows you to surmount any obstacles that would impede less fortunate individuals; and to have parents whose financial prosperity ensures that you will always have a safety net in the unlikely event that even the merest trace of hardship or want should at any point intrude upon your life.
It makes you feel, well, pretty much invincible.
Ah, youth! Ah, love! Ah, living under a government that neither oppresses its people nor prevents them from pursuing their ambitions, having no children and no debt to prevent you from doing whatever you want at all times, being enrolled in health insurance, having free access to the numerous conveniences afforded by modern technology, living in a large metropolitan area with an array of job opportunities and unlimited diversions, and having been swept off your feet by the girl of your dreams! It truly is a gift.
So drink deep of love, you young, amorous, entitled, and racially favored men! Enjoy your romantic infatuation, just as you enjoy your separation from the troubles afflicting the billions of people who, simply by virtue of who they are, can never aspire to the life you live, cloistered within an impermeable bubble of wealth and social mastery that no harm or worry can ever breach. It truly is as marvelous as the old poets say.
I just wish everyone could experience that feeling.