Should I Feel Guilty?

Our air conditioning went out sometime over the weekend. We really noticed it yesterday when the fan kept blowing, but air coming through the vent wasn’t cold.

After calling the emergency number for Pulte, which no one answered, nor have they returned the call as yet, we asked the sales office for a number. We were provided the number of the company who installed the air conditioner unit. Of course, with it being a Sunday, their office was closed. However, I did get their hours and called back first thing this morning, and got an appointment for this afternoon. When the repairman arrived, he had it fixed in about 10-minutes. Thank goodness!

While growing up, we did not have air conditioning. In fact, up until a couple of years ago, my mom had essentially never had air conditioning. We survived, lots of fans, lots of open windows, it was hot, but we survived.

Just as we survived for a couple of days without it, lots of fans, lots of open windows, it was hot, but we survived.

But boy did we celebrate once it started working. We have celebrated each degree drop throughout the afternoon. My kids were glad it had been fixed, which led to me saying I didn’t have air conditioning growing up, to which they replied something about it now being modern times. I replied about it being an example of privilege. Not sure where that came from, but privilege has been on my mind more so lately, but often throughout my life.

After I said that, I started thinking about so many people in the U.S., and around the world, who do not have air conditioning (along with many other things). Even though I know I can live without air conditioning, I don’t want to and am in a place in my life where I don’t have to live without it. It is definitely a first world problem. And I realized I felt some guilt in all of this. The question is, should I feel guilty?

I’ve worked hard from an early age to get where I am. I grew up in poverty, although I didn’t always know it. Free lunch, hand me downs, clothes given to us, our names put in for charity during holidays, welfare for a little while, food stamps, not always sure ends would be met even though my mom worked herself to the bone for us at home and at work. I worked hard to learn, to do well in school. Went to a vocational school to learn accounting/computing. Went on to get a college degree, then an advanced degree. Met a wonderful man, adopted children. Basically what many would call the American dream.

Thankfully I had many wonderful people throughout my life to help steer me in the right directions. My mom, my family, Barb and then Barb and Nancy, Louise, Rob and Joe, my husband Richard, our kids, Dawn, Beth, and so so many people I have met throughout my life, and continuing today with my new guard parent circle and wonderful neighbors.

I’ve worked hard to get where I am. Should I feel guilty for making it here while so many others do not, through no fault of their own, but because of their zip code or the color of their skin?

I’m not sure I should or ought to, but I do.

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