“We overlook just how large a role we all play–and by ‘we’ I mean society–in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”
― Malcolm Gladwell,
Equality, it is just a subjective term that does not exist, and causes a lot of anger.
I remember being in kindergarten, and how my teacher and parents would explain to me what equality was. How everyone should be treated fairly, and equally. Does not matter if you are a female, male, old or young, or what color you are. Everyone should be treated the same.
Of course, once that lesson is taught to us, it seems everything in the world contradicts that notion. It goes against nature itself.
I believe it is important to treat everyone with respect, and patience.
I wish they taught me instead to observe the world, and really deeply listen to others. To be empathetic, to see the world from their eyes.
If we were all born equally, with the same body, mind, income, and at same time, then sure, let us all treat each other equality. The problem is, we are all extremely different. Just the differences between men and women are giant in themselves. How I see the world, is uniquely different then how anyone else sees the world.
School systems are a one size fits all program, with very few variations on flexibility. I remember going to class, and I was terrible at trying to fit into the designated frame. I more or less fell through the cracks, I was put into a special-education program that was intended for slow learners. The problem with the class was that it only tried to teach you the mold they took you out of, it wasn’t intended to teach people new ways of learning.
I remember the first day I walked down to that classroom. I was pulled from my regular class from the teacher who taught the “rainbow learning workshop.” Everyone knew who that instructor was, so when he called my name, everyone stared at me, and a couple of kids covered their mouth to suppress a chuckle. My heart sank when he called my name, and I felt my self-esteem instantly shatter, like a rock being thrown through a thin pane glass window. I understood I was struggling, but this? The class was held in the basement, away from the general population.
After people learned I was in the “rainbow learning workshop,” they started treating me differently, even I started treating me differently. I felt stupid, and stopped thinking about college. I figured the best I could do is maybe run cross country for a community college, and find a remedial job that could make ends meet. I did not apply to any universities, didn’t study for the SAT’s (in fact, I don’t even remember taking them.) Because I figured, what is the point? I stopped trying in my other classes, because I gave up hope. I did not have the energy, the knowledge or experience to tell myself that I was in fact a very intelligent person. It would take me almost another fifteen years before my confidence started returning.
Funny isn’t it, it can take years to build self-esteem, but it only took one second to destroy mine.
This is not a story to make people feel for me, because in retrospect, it probably doesn’t even touch some of the things you went through. But, it is an example of what happens when people are all treated equally, when we are not equal at all.
We all have different strengths, weaknesses, brain chemistry, and body sizes. Some people grow up with a loving support system, while others have terrible things happen to them when they are children. Should they be treated equally?
This is one of the reasons why I want a universal support system, so we can learn from each-other, and not just see our similarities, but learn on how we are different. If someone is struggling in this general mold we have for success, then we need to listen to and observe that person, and absorb from their unique and beautiful way of learning. Perhaps the way they see the world, can save the world.
I could go on forever with this notion of equality. But I will stop for now so I can read your thoughts on the situation. I want to see your perspective, because I am fascinated with it.