All are equal!
The title, as everyone can guess, is borrowed from Orwell. It is not possible to be unaffected after reading Animal Farm.
A recent reading of Sapiens by the incomparable Harari set the mind thinking about the most talked about, often misunderstood, frequently exploited mystery of all time; equality!
Thanks to these two gentlemen for providing the spark for this blog.
Is everyone equal in this world?
The very question evokes a laughter, right?
It is grandiose to say that all are created/born equal, that everyone gets what everyone else gets, a lifetime (Neil Gaiman), everything is possible to everyone, it is the world of equal opportunities, look at xxx, look at yyy, look at so and so……..
Does the extremely gifted left back you have in your school soccer team has the same chance of playing for Real Madrid as the son of Cristiano Ronaldo?
Does the extremely gifted graduate specializing in computers and communication technology have the same chance of being on the board of a behemoth as that of the offspring of Sheryl Sandberg or Mark Zuckerberg?
Why look outward, let us start with ourselves.
Do we practice or believe in equality?
Let us take a case of the office colleagues collecting money to throw a surprise party for your boss. Everyone is free to contribute what one feels like. The mail, initiated by one of those persons who always seem to possess this need for organizing social get-togethers, has about 20 recipients. You first scan the list, make a mental note on who will contribute what, and plug in your contribution. It is better in a way, why waste time and energy in looking for a gift, gifting is serious business. You contribute X. The figure is arrived at after a laborious process of evaluation that included factors like will the money be comparable to the one contributed by, say, A, will the individual amounts be disclosed to the boss and other such meaningless wanderings of the mind.
There are 365 days in a year and on an average about 50 odd colleagues whose birthdays are remembered and wished, at times individually and frequently collectively.
Let us now take the birthday of your department secretary. That wonderful person who organizes your day and that of your department. There is a similar initiative by yet another person and you end up contributing again. This time around, the process is simpler and your contribution is quick. Let the amount be Y.
The secretary, so smitten by the love and affection showed, goes around organizing a party for one of the members of your department, say an aging quiet fellow. One can’t organize parties for all the members of your department, each year for logistic reasons. The better part of the year only will be spent in toasting and having lunch. So the secretary chooses a candidate with some milestone year to qualify 40th, 50th or 60th birthday. The secret mail asking for contributions. This one is even faster, you contribute Z.
All three are birthdays. All three are associates. All three are your business acquaintances. To help the narrative purpose of this example, I am taking the liberty that the three mentioned are not friends on a social side. (if they are, then the amount X, Y or Z is influenced and is usually augmented with an additional personal gift. I am avoiding such a scenario to keep the sample event to be free from “assignable causes” as they say in probability theory)
Is the amount X, Y and Z same? There are no leading insinuations here. There are no conclusions here pointing which is bigger. It could be any of the three. All I am trying to say is they are not the same.
If we believe in principles of equality, then a random event like “contribution for a birthday” of three different individuals should be the same.
Why pollute the narrative with the business where vested interests can be deemed?
Take our personal lives.
Are two brothers ever the same?
Isn’t there one uncle who is “cool” that you wished he were your father?
His son might have had the same feelings towards your dad, incidentally.
Enter the forbidden land. Does one treat all his/her children same?
The knee-jerk answer of every parent affronted by the temerity of this question is how dare you even raise this question. Of course, we treat them the same.
Reality check. Go ask your children.
And as one notable saying goes “When a person tells you that you hurt him/her, you do not get to decide that you do not”
A Jeffrey Archer could weave a tale of William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski becoming equals despite glaring disparities.
The concept is fundamentally flawed.
In an attempt to treat everyone as equal we might actually end up doing the very opposite; deprive a deserving one of our attention/effort/appreciation in the name of equality.
The human race is equal only on two factors.
We are born. And we die.
And where you are born, to which family, to what facilities, in which country all play a role in what you would/could become.
Add to this cocktail, an incendiary portion of your personal opinions, often shaped by outside factors like what you read or who you listen to 😉, the result is Molotov.
More sins are committed to defending equality, or a perceived equality.
Equality is a myth.
Passed on as a noble trait to practice.
Not possible to practice.