Merriam-Webster defines principles as a rule of conduct of what is right and wrong...a code by which we live; a deeply-held belief that guides our actions. A privelege, on the other hand, is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available to only a particular person or group of people. We could say that education, for one thing, is a right not a privilege, while driving an automobile is a privilege and not a right. If pivilege supercedes principle, the priciple ceases to exist. Case in point, someone might say that they believe that helping others who are less fortunate is one of their guiding principles...yet they choose not to volunteer or to help out in any way, In other words, the" principle' is only talk, and not a deeply-held believe that guides their actions.
According to Dharma, there are two sources of privilege: external...those granted to us by others, and internal...those that we have because of our principles. If the principle ceases, then the privilege does, too. Example: If one of our principles is to live modestly and save money for a rainy day, should we suddenly become a spendthrift then our privielge of having financial security will soon disappear. My wise teacher and mentor continued to say that if the privilege is extended by an outside source such as a boss, government, or even our friends...that the privilege can quickly disappear once the granting entity gets what they want. Privilges come and go. But deeply held principles can, and should, guide us throutout our lives.
"My young student," Dharma concluded, "Life here in Land of Lily Pad is nearly perfect. We are very fortunate, indeed. But the rest of our planet is in turmoil. Holding on to our beliefs is even more important today. If we let go of those things that truly matter, in exchange for a few extraneous privileges, then we're left with nothing of substance. If we choose to abandon our principles for privileges...soon enough, we will lose both."
This is really common sense, but it's good to be reminded. In a world where we're constantly being bombarded with sentiments that bigger, better, newer will make us happy, it's extra important to remember our basic and guiding principles...those things that will always keep us on our true path and will, ultimately, make us the best version of ourselves that we can be.