I came home late the other night, after a long day. I opened the door to my family's house
and went inside, shut the door behind me, then began walking to my room. As I stepped on the uncarpeted portion of the hardwood
floor, I discovered that it was much slipperier
than it had been before. This realization struck me as I realized I was falling.
As I lay on my back in pain, I took a moment to reflect. Falling was nothing new to me, although I generally was not that clumsy. I struggled to roll my head over to the side, cracking my neck painfully in the process, and studied the floor. The floorboards glimmered in the dim light from the lamp, and I realized that they had been waxed.
"Ah," I ahed. "Wax."
I decided to reflect upon this a moment longer, seeing as how the concept of moving seemed very unfavorable to me at that point. Why were the floors waxed?
The answer to my question came fairly quickly, as it was quite obvious: because someone had waxed them, most likely my parents.
At this point, I could have probably gone to bed, without considering this further. Instead, I thought about what the fact that my parents had waxed the floor actually meant. It meant that they had decided not only that the floor needed waxing, but also that we could afford to do it. It meant that we had no debts to pay, no bills we had neglected, no mortgages to pay, no loans to reimburse. We weren't paying for child support, or for medical bills from a severe illness. No taxes to pay to a dictator, no blood money to a mob boss. It meant that we were so financially confident in ourselves, that we felt we could afford to spend large amounts of money on trivial things.
You never really realize how privileged you are until you are smacked in the face (or in the back) with proof. Up until this point, I had not sat down and thought about how lucky I was: how privileged I was to live with a roof over my head, with food to eat, with a car in my driveway, with a college to attend. I had so many things that other people did not, and I just assumed that that's the way it was. I never put thought into why I had this and why other people didn't, because I'd always had it. I had never lived any other way but privileged.
I was a lucky guy, amidst billions of unlucky guys.
With that sobering thought, I picked myself up off the newly waxed floor, and went to sleep in my warm bed, under my large roof.