The internet is abuzz with quizzes that claim to identify our personality and tell us what we are and what we will be. I go through these quizzes for fun, many a time, for amusement! The accuracy is questionable, sometimes ridiculously absurd, illogical, and irrational. But there are some that actually strike a chord or two. One such is a quiz from Buzzfeed, forwarded to me by my daughter with the sweetest message saying, “I thank you and daddy for giving me a good life!” Tell me then, what more can a mother ask for?
The quiz titled, “How privileged are you?” is a listing of questions ranging from family life, education, relationships, career, sexuality, caste (here I realize that the quiz was designed for Indian audience), money matters, travel, and even the most mundane of things. The more tick marks you get, the more privileged are you. I got 116 out of the 127 questions and the result says, I am in the top tier of privilege!
The number of questions may seem long and endless, quite exhaustive, laborious to deal with, and something that can wear one down and eventually give up. I almost gave up at Question 34. But then, I went ahead and found that if we only take it seriously, there is an unfathomable meaning in every question that awakens our thoughts that would have gone into deep slumber not realizing how blessed we all are.
The question on schooling up to university level made me realized that I am luckier than one billion adults as per the recent study conducted by UNESCO. The question on life and living conditions gave me an insight on how fortunate am I to have roof over my head, food on my table, clothes to wear, and a bed to sleep in.
An added bonus is all the other luxuries that I enjoy like having a car to take me wherever I want to go and a limitless access to many other things that I now think as indulgences rather than need, superfluities that make me feel guilty after knowing that millions of families are living within $1 per day.
At least six questions dealt with experiences dealing with the caste system. I may not have been born and brought up in India, where caste system was a prevalent practice, but I was always aware of the dissection of economic levels in my country. Suffice it to say that I did not allow any of those to affect me while living my life the way I want to, and it has never bothered me even today. Moving to India, I never spoke of or brought up the fact that I have become part of the Brahmin community after having married an Iyengar Brahmin. There is no need, and no reason to. And in twenty long years, it has not affected me or my status in this country that I have come to love as my own.
Another set of questions focus on safety, inside and outside the house, in the workplace, or elsewhere. Knowing that I live in one of the most peaceful cities I know keeps my mind at ease all the time. And this brings me back to war-torn countries like Syria (where we lived) where its people are not sure of living their lives the following day.
Going through the list is for me … a wake-up call, it is a process that each and every one of us should go through just to be reminded that we are so privileged than countless number of people, that we are given things even before asking for it, and that we are provided with extras that we, sometime, don’t even deserve — as a person — as a human being.
The quiz transported me into a different state of mind … a state where I am happier than ever before … a state where I tell myself that I cannot ask for more. Asking for more will only lead me to greediness. And as the Great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed!”
I have pasted the link (in case you haven’t been fortunate enough to stumble on it) to the quiz below. Please go through it. My wish is that, like me, you may realize that we ought to stop complaining about the life we have, and actually begin living it with gratitude in our hearts for the fact that you have a computer system, a laptop, a tablet, or a smart phone to read this blog post — you are more privileged that most.
In conclusion, I would like to share the lines of one of my favourite Christmas carols that help me get sound sleep at night:
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small, I think of when I had none at all. And I fall asleep counting my blessings.
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads. And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds.
So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep. And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings
***All the images are borrowed from the net.