Egalitarian – “asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, economic, or social life.”
In my fifty two years upon this earth, there is no other life lesson more profound or realistically envisioned than the importance of a ‘free’ countries people practicing egalitarianism. None of us are free as long as any of us believe that suppression of anyone else is the accepted norm. None of us have equity, or justice, if any of us stands up above another, forcing them to stay down so that they will be aware of their socioeconomic status.
It is the civic and moral obligation of the majority to serve our global spirit of our one most vital unifying principle. We are all humans, cut from the same cloth, sharing in the same ancestral genetic makeup. We all share in that we are caught in this unique species identifier of thoughts, emotions and some sort of belief of a power beyond ourselves. Even those who do not believe in a power beyond ourselves prove that we have the choice to NOT believe. Others, radically believe to the extent that humanity and compassion are lost upon ideals.
We differ in that we have been scattered to the winds of ancestral migration that brought us to our corner of the world. It wasn’t fate as much as it was climate, economics, belief systems. It was an evolutionary wonder of development that created in us, an alignment with one geographical location and all its traditions or values over another. Isn’t it fascinating to read of just how much we differ, and how much we have in common.
I have seen 18, 980 days; 455, 520 hours or 27,331, 200 minutes in my lifetime. And yet, I have had one running theme through all of them. When I was a child, it was people fighting for their rights just to be left alone to live their lives. Not to harm others. Do no harm is a cornerstone of our society ideal. Just simply to BE. But we don’t allow that, do we. That same theme is more true today than ever.
J.K. Rowling’s commencement speech to Harvard fell I hope on open ears in at least some of the graduates. She told the audience that living in poverty, “entails fear, and stress and sometimes means depression. It means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” And, “that people have a moral responsibility to give if they have more than they need.”
We, this global world of ours, have a moral obligation to each other. To be sure that those in a vulnerable position are not humiliated in their lives due to their demographic status. Instead, if we are privileged, or advantaged in any way, owe it to ourselves and our fellow humans to show kindness to those less fortunate than ourselves.
Ms. Rowling goes on to remind us that to feel accomplished, we also have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure. To me, like J. K. Rowling, we owe it to others, to our children, and to ourselves to become aware of the world around us. We owe it to humanity to reach out a hand in a thousand non-humiliating, but loving kindness ways. Equity is only meaningful when loving kindness accompanies it. Only then, will we succeed in creating a more empathetic world that will sustain all of our beliefs, our differences, and our freedom to be, just as we are.
About the author: Karen Henry Daly is a professional writer, focusing on subjective well-being, thriving and positive aging. She’s been teaching psychology at the university level since 2009. Her dissertation studied happiness, professional women and enabling institutions. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media and a master’s degree in community psychology.