Did you ever think privilege could be measured by proximity to a recycling bin?
Well, in one teacher's stimulating classroom exercise, the recycling bin is actually a metaphor for "making it."
"You represent the country's population," the teacher said, "You all have the chance to become wealthy. All you must do is throw your wadded up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat."
Not surprisingly, the class learned that "making it" is a lot easier for those who already have an advantage (in this case, those seated in the front of the room). Most of those students made it — but not all — and only a few students in the back made it. The closer a student was to the recycling bin, the better his or her odds.
"This is what privilege looks like," the teacher explained.
Perhaps the most critical lesson from this experiment was in response to the attitudes of the students sitting in the front — they were less likely to be aware of the privilege they were born into. All they could see was the ten feet of distance that stood between them and their goal.
Get ready because this next lesson probably applies to you:
"Your job as students who are receiving an education is to be aware of your privilege," the teacher said. "And use this particular privilege called education to do your best to achieve great things, all the while advocating for those in the rows behind you."