It has been said that equality is central to basic human rights that every human being in the world should be entitled to. But lets be honest, are we all equal, or are some more equal than others?
The problem with equality in our modern world, is that often times the political or social climate (power & superiority) reduces the quality of life, freedom and growth of certain groups and in turn forces the enhancement and above-the-law protection of specific politically/socially suited “lesser” groups, in order to attain this ideal of equality and protect against discrimination. But there cannot be true equality, real fairness without freedom. You cannot sacrifice the one for the other. There will never be true equality under such a system. Equality means that every human being should see and treat every other human being equally before the law regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, religion or disability without privilege, discrimination or bias. Yes, you need to protect and create opportunities for the ‘weaker or lesser’ groups of people, but not by sacrificing, impeding or discriminating against other groups or individuals. This system also allows people the protection and right to make excuses for their behaviour by blaming external factors and ‘getting away with murder” as they are the politically favoured group. Forcing equality can create massive divides and socio-economic break-down within a community and a nation. Thoughts and feelings of hate, jealousy and frustration with power-hungry mindsets and egocentricity are driving forces for inequality. In our country South Africa, there is blatant discrimination and inequality happening in almost every sector, level and facet of our lives. And the whip is in the hands of the politically and financially privileged and powerful.
People fear what they don’t understand, and that leads to dangerous thoughts and behaviour. People will also hide behind or grab onto what makes them feel comfortable and safe. Is it then acceptable or understandable to be judgmental or opinionated on the behaviour or rights of others, because of your personal, religious or cultural beliefs? My answer is no. You have no right to judge or discriminate against another human being because you don’t approve of their choices or behaviour. It is with sensitivity and an open mind that we need to approach matters of equality, as seen in the current debate on marriage equality, racism, sexual orientation and gender identity.
With that being said, I believe that focussing on how you act and engage with others, is what is important. It is a personal goal to try and see people without judgement, as your equal, a human being, deserving of equal respect, protection, understanding, kindness and care.
Yes, we have freedom, but not equality: