A false conclusion which seems to have become the mainstream opinion nowadays is that everyone is equal.
It is perhaps derived from the belief that all people should be equal before the law and have the same rights and same vote. I believe that people should have the right to the same opportunities and that as people are affected by the law, they should be entitled to a say.
However, that is not to say that an uneducated opinion from a less intelligent person is equal to the educated opinion of a more intelligent person. The issue is more a case of logistics. It’s too complicated to decide who gets what number of votes, and more importantly, can we trust whoever gets to decide to be reasonable about it? Also, the world being as chaotic as it is, by pure fluke, the uneducated less intelligent person could be correct while the educated academic could be incorrect.
Also, it’s so difficult to measure one’s value or worth because such a thing is subjective. That is not to say that we can disregard the imbalance between people. As a society, we create rules and uphold a certain standard. We aim to value the things that help society and shame the destructive things to society.
For example, we love intelligent, innovative people who can design technology such as the device you read this article on. Or kind people who do little things every day to uplift the people around them such as helping an elderly woman cross the street. We can appreciate many kinds of qualities. This leaves us asking ourselves, “what kind of person do I want to be?”. A question that would be irrelevant if there were no differences between people.
It may seem like common sense to say that people are not equal. Perhaps some will say that this is not what people in the mainstream are saying and that this is somehow a strawman argument.
But let us have a look at the shift that has been happening. Greta Thunberg is a random Swedish girl (with connections to the entertainment industry) who, at only age 16 and with many mental illnesses, became a spokesperson for climate change. There are many reasons to be critical about this and say she’s being exploited, but the point I have is that she is not a climate scientist. There are no shortages of climate scientists. Her worldwide fame doesn’t make much sense to any sane person unless you can see the apparent emotional manipulation tactic for political goals.
In the beauty industry, morbid obesity has become the new beautiful. Which would perhaps be believable if the political pressure to make this the case wasn’t so persistent. Surely someone doesn’t need that much convincing to find something beautiful? It should be apparent. They also didn’t do any research.
When you’re promoting obesity as beautiful, you are promoting obesity. Obesity means your life expectancy is cut in half! And not only that, but the short life you do have is full of hospital visits (usually on taxpayer’s money) for related health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, damage to your ankles, hips, back, and other parts of your body, as well as depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.
And although I don’t agree that children should be political figures or that obese people should be professional models, I do think each person does have some value in some way to someone. To paraphrase Einstein, we shouldn’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. The problem is when the fish themselves are pretending to be tree climbers. There’s something wrong there, and it’s not the fault of the judging person. But if you were to believe that any fish could climb a tree and then they are not successful, well, you either come to the sane and rational conclusion that we are not equal, or you start pointing fingers and claim to be a victim of oppression.
To an honest person, men and women are not equal. And the more closely you look at biology, the more differences you see. For example, men’s hips are more forward-facing which enables them to be faster, and their bones are denser, enabling them to be physically stronger. Testosterone seems to be linked to greater risk-taking, and men of course, produce more testosterone. They also tend to be taller, which women seem to prefer in a male partner. If you value these qualities, you may highly regard men. Women also have their strengths: their bodies are designed for carrying life, and they tend to be more empathetic and nurturing. I think these are fantastic qualities, and people who value women would value these traits.
An interesting phenomenon is how there has been a considerable spike in people who identify as transgender, and in the vast majority of cases, it’s men transitioning to become women. Now, if we were equal, this wouldn’t happen. Why would you go through all of the awful side effects and social stigma of being trans to become a woman if it is equal to being a man? Or if it’s worse than being a man because women are oppressed? They must believe that it would improve their life in some way.
And while I believe in liberty and believe that adults should be entitled to make choices about their bodies, it should also be an informed decision. If you go through hormone therapy, your body will constantly fight against you. I don’t believe that the science is yet to change your sex to match your preferred gender.
It is fundamental to our emotional well-being to make changes in our lives. We do not want to be equal to those around us, nor do we want to be identical to our past selves. Human psychology is similar to a video game in this sense. We need to feel like we are leveling up to some degree. We need to beat the bosses. We need to collect more trophies. It can manifest differently to different people, but it makes us more diverse. It is a positive thing. Being unequal means some people are better at some things, but we can learn from them. The opportunity for personal growth is always there because of that.
We are unequal, but to pretend we are equal despite this, what would that mean if we take it to its furthest conclusion? Do we pay our garbage collector the same amount of money as our doctor? This line of thinking is communist. And it is not far from becoming a mainstream opinion. It’s there in a subtle way. People are coming out as communists with no consequence despite the horrible consequences every time communist societies have been attempted, such as the significant loss of human life. Whereas to suggest people are unequal today (and I’m sure we’ll see it in responses to this article), that to some people is the equivalent of saying we should mistreat people. As if I want them in concentration camps.
I want people to love the qualities in others that they don’t have themselves. Is it not a great way to bond with another person by fulfilling a need that you can’t easily fulfill yourself. A tall person can reach something off a high shelf for a short person, and that short person can get under tight spaces to grab something for the tall person. We can’t all do everything.
There is not an unlimited amount of time. I would not be able to learn every skill, but I’m glad every skill does exist. Perhaps you can’t play an instrument very well, but I’m sure you’re glad someone else can so that you can listen to beautiful music. If someone can accomplish amazing feats that improve my life or life for everyone, I want that person to be rewarded. If someone cures cancer, I want them to be awarded medals. If Elon Musk opens the pathway for life on Mars to become a genuine possibility in our lifetime, I want him to be a billionaire.
To suggest I am equal to the most extraordinary people we’ve had in our lifetime would be highly arrogant and stupid. If I said I was equivalent to Martin Luther King, Jr., someone would probably snort or roll their eyes at me. Of course, we’re not the same. It is not just that he has so many strengths of character. He was the right person at the right time, doing the right thing. And in an alternative reality, maybe there is a version of me that’s a hero for that world. But for me in this world, being me is enough. Being less than others is something the people who care about me can accept, and I can accept in them. This is the true path to self-acceptance and valuing people.
If I were to turn to a professional artist and say I was just as good as an artist as them with my shitty stick figure drawing, that would be a slap in their face to all their hard work. But often, when people try to encourage their children, they feed them such lies. They tell them that they are excellent when they are not. Of course, this is natural as a proud parent, but it needs to be curbed. Because if you keep doing this to excess, the reality of how bad they are could hit them very hard eventually. For example, they could become a failed artist who turns to addiction and causes problems for everyone around them.
We are a generation of this well-intentioned encouragement going too far, and we are seeing the side effects.
People are unable to deal with reality. How are people supposed to deal with being unequal to someone else when everyone is supposed to be equal? Would they not then feel like a broken machine? And judging by the physical, mental, and emotional health of the people suggesting that people are equal, that does seem to be the reality. So not only are they wrong, but they are suffering for it. Depression and anxiety levels are very high. So are suicide rates. Thus, the real consequence of this lie of equality in some instances is death.
The solution is to recognize that we’re not machines. We’re not supposed to be. Equality was never necessary or even reasonable. In the most equal community I can think of, it’s everyone equally poor queuing for bread. Because it’s way easier to drag people down then it is to push them to great heights. However, in our society, an unequal one, we are going to Mars.