you are 100% correct with the statement that I hi-lighted. Our parents, hopefully, are a good start to learning those tools, but our parents — like all other humans walking this earth — are fallible. They are imperfect. We must look to others: peers, teachers, mentors within the workplace, writers to help us to navigate successfully in the world. Sometimes we need to ask for their mentoring IF it is not forthcoming. And that, of course, takes practice, just like any other behavior you want to make into a habit.
I don’t know why…but when I read this sentence, I remembered a story that James Earl Jones had written, maybe a decade ago, for the Guideposts Magazine. He wrote about his stuttering and how as a child he had a terrific grade school teacher who helped him to overcome that stuttering! She knew how to make it happen — by singing (stutters do not stutter when they are singing!). So, if it hadn’t been for that primary school teacher…he wouldn’t be that recognizable voice known by many generations of folks here in America and abroad.
I would like for you to consider another frame for your thinking about “asking for more.” You framed it as ‘white privilege,’ but I know that it can be something else. It’s a personality construct that NOT only applies to white folks, but to all human beings regardless of race, ethnicity and gender.
NOTE: I am a psychologist by training and have a wealth of knowledge about personality constructs as I used them in my various occupational roles and when I was a faculty member. So, please bear with me, here, as I provide another frame for your thinking about the behavior you are writing about in your essay.
Greed is the personality construct to which I am making reference. Some people are never satisfied with what they have. They live by the motto “more is enough.” Our consumer society fosters that mindset, unfortunately, to quite a large degree.
For me, greed is really a manifestation of a spiritual malaise that exists within the person. The greedy person is never satisfied with the “stuff” they have or the “power” they exert over others. So, they see seek more and more of the “stuff,” or the “power;” the hole in the soul grows ever wider and deeper. They aren’t really happy…they never will be with a mindset like that. And that is why I call it a spiritual malaise.
I could point to many, prominent people in contemporary society who are greedy and suffer from this spiritual malaise…but I will refrain from doing so here.
Hope this personality construct frame helps you to see the behavior in a different light. Humans are complex beings with many variables impacting on their behavior.