Seth Zaremba published an innocuous, but pointed tweet a few weeks ago, “we are created equal.”
The simple, four-word sentence immediately grabbed my attention. One of the more curious voices inside my head asked, “Is that true?”
We are created with the ability to be equal and we live with the right to be equal.— Ryan Hanley (@RyanHanley_Com) January 22, 2019
Is it true that we are created equal?
In today’s outrage culture, fueled by anonymous social justice warriors and alt-right assholes, I’m not even sure we’re allowed to ask this question.
Because to answer the question in any way other than, “Of course everyone is created equal,” means you’re a racist or sexist or homophobe or nazi or whatever other derogatory identity-based labels can be tangentially applied.
Then someone yells, “Socialism!” from the back of the room and everyone runs out of the building as if it’s on fire.
These are crazy times.
My position, for what it’s worth, is that we’re all each of these things and none of these things at the same time.
I understand why people are mad.
Life is hard and people do fucked up shit to each other.
Discrimination, misogyny, and hate exist.
We live each day as both the oppressor and the oppressed and it’s really hard to square that dichotomy in our heads.
So we either lash out or we cacoon. Each has its own consequences.
If anonymously taking to Twitter and raging on someone through the use of derogatory identity labels keeps you from yelling at your kids or treating your spouse poorly… well, maybe it is the right thing to do.
But you also might you consider blasting all that rage away at the gym.
I get my rage out here.
So, are we created equal?
From the timestamps on the image above you can see that it took me over 24 hours to reply.
“We are created with the ability to be equal and we live with the right to be equal.”
However, I do not believe we are created equal.
Simply by examining my own children is this evident. My younger son is thoughtful, caring and empathetic while my older son is creative, stubborn and driven.
They were not created equal.
And it is the absence of equality in personality and character that makes them uniquely beautiful and amazing.
None of us are created equal. That is the beauty of existence.
How boring would it be if we were all created equal?
What is lost in the chaotic nature of today’s discourse is the nuance in which type of equality we’re all actually striving towards…
We confuse equality of outcome with equality of opportunity.
Equality in outcome means we’re all exactly the same, interchangeable carbon copies of one another to be used up, worn down and tossed away for next in line.
This is not the equality which rewards the unique beauty of our individual spirits.
Equality of outcome is the easy way out.
Equality of opportunity, however… this my friends, is the motherfucker worth fighting for every damn day.
For if our society was equal in opportunity, (and I do not believe it is there yet, though still is the best it has ever been in the history of the world), then every unique snowflake would have it’s moment to sparkle in the moonlight with full acceptance and delightful grandeur.
But equality of opportunity comes at a price. For if the opportunity is equal than the outcome cannot be.
This messes people up because of the horrible shit we’ve done to each other in the past.
I’m not sure I have the solution to that just yet…
READ NEXT: WHEN TO FIGHT BACK
My point, (as I’m sure it was possibly lost in the ramblings above), and hope, is that you quiet your mind to the chaos of our current political and social conversations and instead focus on the positive activity of opportunity generation.
Work to provide others with endless opportunity.
Open doors. Open eyes. Open minds… every day.
As many times a day as you can. For it is these small victories yield a world of abundance.
And please, don’t add to the chaos.
P.S. Don’t forget to hit the gym and get all that rage out. Then share your thoughts with me on Instagram here.