What does it mean to be ‘equal’? Equal how? Equal to what? When the statement was made that all men are created equal, which equality was being referenced? Was it the more ethereal ‘energy’ we share as human beings, that equality, or was it the notion that each embryo is created with as much future potential as any other? Or was the statement itself a demonstration of inequality because it references men, only? Perhaps all men are created equal. All women are not. That is clear at the outset. Equality is a tricky word. It holds too much promise for too many people who will never get to be ‘equal’ in today’s world. Sadly there are those people.
Equality is about fairness. Balance. Wherever there is an imbalance, there will be discord. The system does not handle discord well. Nor does it create equals. The very system discourages equality, equals. The system is about working your way to the top, surpassing others. It would seem that in the greedy world of capitalists, being equal is never enough. There is the compulsion to be better, to earn more, to have more. To outshine your peers. It becomes an obsession for many people. Perhaps those at the top of the capitalist ladder do have ‘equals’. Perhaps they consider themselves ‘equal’ to people who earn the same as they do. That is perhaps their measure in life.
It is worth fostering equality as an ideal. I think it is an ideal. It is something to strive towards, like peace. Equality is a work in progress. Should it become the norm rather than the exception in the long run, that can be considered an ideal outcome. The child who cannot read or write is not equal, in 2014, to the child who can. The child with access to technology is not equal to the child that does not. This is how it is in our world. Despite the ever-present inequalities, though, and the concerns that these inequalities raise, it is not to say that the ‘unequal’ cannot reach the heights that the ‘equal’ tend to reach. They must just apply themselves to working with what they have and trust that it is enough.