In my previous post I introduced the general concept of equality as the next key level in the column of values after “identity” and “safety”. This subject is too important to just leave at a general statement. We have to dig deeper and make it personal. We perceive the world as one big mass of different people. People who look different, people who behave different and people who have different power positions. We have men, women, children, disabled, elderly people, etc. How can everyone be equal? Or more importantly: How can I be equal to everyone else?
To answer that we have go back to the “identity” and purpose in life. When you look in the mirror what do you see? You see an individual who has been blessed with the miracle of life by birth and the challenge to make the best of it. Do you see anyone else in that mirror? Do you see a boss? A wife or husband? A prime minister? Or doctor or priest? A parent?
You may see such qualification only if it can be connected to your identity, i.e. if you ARE a doctor or prime minister or wife, or whatever. You certainly see no other person standing next to you to tell you what you have to do, how you should behave or who gives you what you need. You see just you, your living self, with all the goodies and the badies you may attach to it, but in essence that what you see is all you have to live the adventure of life.
Do you really think that anyone else who looks at him or herself in the mirror sees something else? No, of course not. When one looks and sees a profession does that have anything to do with the living creature that stares back at you from that mirror? No, not at all. The individual is the same as anyone else. Equality!
When do differences occur that may challenge that equality? They occur when the individual starts addressing the ability to live a life from the perception of doing it with a PURPOSE. Purpose is a drive that takes you away from that mirror and start interacting with your surroundings. People may all have a different personal purpose in life which in itself is again a huge challenge for the individual as well as for those with whom one interacts.
Here I refer again to the basic 3 x 8, the three basic responsibilities in life of every individual on earth as explained in one of my previous blogs. In this we see that personal survival is of course the key condition for a sustainable individual life. Survival does not only mean that one cares for one’s safety but also health and vitality. In animal life the unhealthy and unvital are easy prey for preditors. In the human world this is not much different despite the social care system in rich regions around the weaker people of a community. This can be a topic for another post.
In certain moments of a life survival could be the sole purpose of an individual. In such situation one depends on oneself and the assistance of others who share the same objective. No differences are perceived as the higher purpose is clear to everyone. Only that counts and the competences of each to make it happen. When a group makes better survival chances than the individual the choice for all involved will be clear.
When physical security and survival is not an issue we see that other purpose drives appear. And that is where the complexity starts as we are asked to distinguish between the morality of the purpose that we persue or our personal greed. How greedy or selfish is survival? And how greedy or selfish is the accumulation of wealth at the expense of someone else? How can you justify immorality? And why would anyone be better or more important than anyone else simply by having more or showing more greed?
The constant reflexion between the moral (to be) and material (to do) complexity is a given for a prosporous welfare society based on sustainable progress (see diagram).
The column of values starts with self awareness in the center of the picture of the complexities. Self awareness is the very first step to the acceptance of one’s own unique identity among all the possible other human identities that surround us. Our identity is equal by birth. And equal by spiritual and carnal significance. If we create inequality it is imposed by others and accepted by us. On the other hand, if we feel unique, at the center of our own universe equality is beyond dispute. Inequality may be achieved by our particular behaviour challenging our spiritual, intellectual and relational morality.
It must be clear that equality in this deepest sense of human identity and meaningful existance does not distinguish in sexe, culture or religion. Everyone is equal in uniqueness. Any posible perceived inequality is a human invention and hence disputable by humanity.
So whatever the complexity of our surroundings the sense of equality is one that is derived from our own sense of identity, self awareness and purpose in life. The one who feels equal never will have to fear anyone or anything. This sense of personal security is key to feel equal from within and never look up or down at anyone else. The sense of purpose will allow the individual to conduct a voyage in life guided by self awareness and the equivalent evolution of morality to connect with others in pursuit of a meaningful life.
People who reach this point will define meaning into a servant attitude feeling truly liberated from a sense of competition. The modern meaningful higher purpose will always be the drive to leave behind a better world than one found upon birth. Anything else would challenge the column of values and hence our genuin identity as unique, meaningful, purpose driven member of the human species in sustainable evolution within our universe.
That then become the basis of the next layer of the column of values: Trust.