You don’t have to crawl on the broken glass of guilt and shame, mea culpa-ing the entire way, to redeem yourself of unearned systemic privilege — of race, class, gender, caste, education, wealth or anything else that offers you elevation.
Blindness is assuming that the world is shaped around and functions from the center you’ve always known. Inhabit other centers, in an openhearted way, and you develop new bodies of experience.
Cultivate intelligent curiosity. Cultivate empathy. Cultivate respect.
When you step outside of your own world view to enter into communion with Otherness, you experience the world as your sisters and brothers from other cultures experience it; as the non-human world experiences it.
Acts of imaginative empathy cannot make up for centuries of colonization and oppression, but they are the only way to enter into and inhabit realities other than your own. It’s a place to begin.
Inform yourself, yes. Seek to understand, intellectually, the nature of power structures out of which differential privileges arise. But intellectual understanding without embodied experience can be a false comfort, another way of maintaining division and distance between self and other.
Empathy, humility, openness, respect, listening — these transform us from within. Be willing to be changed by your encounters with the world. Then, you can act from the deeper understanding afforded by love, to heal and transform the structures of privilege so they serve and embrace everyone.