Differences vs. Equality
September 29, 2013
In a recent thread that gained much debate and as I see it a very wide range of opinions. At times those opinions of others were over looked or misinterpreted by others sparking even more debate and arguments. Feelings were hurt and emotions were set aside. So I wanted to take a moment to express how I feel about the difference between treating people “differently” and giving people “Equality”.
Jedi Believe: In a society that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or circumstances of birth such as gender, ethnicity and national origin.
When I mentioned before about equality being the right thing to do I was met with resistance saying in general, that we all treat people different because everyone is different and such is the way of life. I say that I agree with that one hundred percent. Yes equality is right but I don’t treat everyone I meet the same but I do threat them equally. Wait, what did I just say? Yes I treat them different but equal. Let me explain. In the grand scheme of the world everyone is a unique individual. We all have different likes, different training, backgrounds, dreams, etc. We all look different and we all feel different. That is the beauty of life. If we were all the same nothing would get done and life would be boring. So what do I mean then to treat people equally? I mean to treat everyone but the same criteria regardless of where they are from, what they look like, or if they are male or female. Consider the following examples:
1. In the movie GI Jane: A woman was given the “opportunity” to be the first female in Seal Team training. As it turns out because she was a female she had a different set of standards to follow. Such as, on the wall climb she was given a step to use where the men were not and she was given more time to complete the obstacle course. She told them that to be taken seriously she needed to be held to the same standards as the men. She is different but treated equally.
2. There is a television show called “The Voice” I am not saying I am a fan of the whole show just the auditions. On the Voice when people come out to audition to earn a spot on the teams the judges are facing away from the stage. In this way they cannot see if the singer is black or white, male or female (which made a couple of interesting reactions) or ethnic backgrounds. As the people would sing the judges based their decision to turn around (indicating that they wanted the person on their team) solely on their abilities. They are different but treated equally.
Now as some have said “I treat people differently because I respect some more than others.” I say that is perfectly fine if that respect is gained or lost on merit and on what they look like or where they are from. I have people that I like and those that I do not but, it is based on how they act not where they are from. The other problem with some of those that demand equality is that at times they feel that because they (their race, gender, religion, etc) were persecuted for so long that they should be given more rights because of those traits. Because of this at times people are given positions based on things such as race simply to fill a demographic and not based on the qualifications of the applicant. You cannot demand equality and ask for special treatment based on the same discrimination.
Many times we see people asking to be treated equally and call them other names. A black man asks for the right to vote but he does not want equality, he is racist. If a woman does not want her breast joked about or to have lewd comments made she does not want equality, she is feminist. Many times we do not see the forest for the trees. We get so wrapped up and consumed by our own discrimination that we believe others must feel the same way so if a man says hey I don’t think it is funny when you told that joke putting down black people. All we hear is that he is racist. I use the term “we all judge by our own standards.” What that means is that if we lie all the time we assume everyone else is. If we steal, we assume others will. And if we discriminate, we assume others will.
The point of this sermon is to say this. It is ok to like some people more than others (difference) as long as that like or dislike is based on the same criteria (equality). If you don’t like someone stop and think if it is because of how they act (equality) or what they look like (difference). The world is a large stew with many different ingredients all cooking together. Each part different but together they are stronger. The differences and oddities in life are what make this world great. I am not better because I am male or white or American. I am better because I am me a small potato floating in the world stew being made better by the carrots, celery, and beef floating around with me.
My fellow members of the stew I ask you this. This week take a deep look inside yourselves. Ask yourself if you are doing all you can to treat people equally. Treat people by how they act and not what they look like. Treat people the way you would want to be treated. We all know about the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Would you want to be picked on, teased, and discriminated against just because of how you look or where you come from? Do you think there should be different rules or standards for some and not other? Equality is what is right and differences are the reason why it is.