Inequality: A small word with the potential for a big impact.
What does inequality mean to me?
Inequality is about fairness, honesty, and opportunity. It’s about comparing two unique people side by side and deciding that they are not valued the same. It’s about comparing differences and not being able to see the similarities. It can be about sports, life, work, love, gender, race, religion, and age. It can impact the way you are viewed and how you view others.
Sometimes it’s hard to be impartial but it’s harder to admit when you’re wrong about someone. Inequality stems from preconceived notions about a person. This can be anything from “he’s an athlete so it’s probably not that smart” to “a black woman wouldn’t be as capable in this job as a white man”. We need to look past the shells and see the person underneath. Are they smart? Are they capable? Are they nice? Are they a bad influence?
One of the biggest examples of inequality in my own life is about tattoos. Every day, I’m still shocked at how many people view body art with such negativity. Granted with those my own age, I am far less likely to experience this but I often feel the urge to cover up my tattoos when I attend “professional” events or even interviews. It’s a societal “norm” that makes me feel like I will be judged on how I appear rather than on what my resume or the words coming out of my mouth say about me. We’ve been making strides against this idea (the CIA even has a paragraph about how having a tattoo will not disqualify you from working there) but there are still some people who see tattoos as irresponsible, dangerous, or stupid.
Perhaps tattoos isn’t as bad as inequality for something like gender or race but you’d be surprised at how it can impact things. I have personally never felt inequality against me as a woman but maybe I just wasn’t keen enough to see the signs. Or have been fortunate enough to work with people who value equality as I do.
Every day should present us with new ways to make the change, to bring inequality to its knees and form a world that can see the differences and similarities without assigning value to them. They are pieces of data not knowledge about a person. How people look or what they believe in might shape their actions but then again, it might not.
Inequality in laws and in every day has been reduced significantly since the formation our nation but we’re not done. We need leaders who represent the general public in true ways and ones that will stand up and fight for us. We need more diversity in our government so that all the voices can be heard. We need to recognize our neighbors as people and our countrymen as allies. This fight belongs to everyone because equality is for all mankind not just for those who think they’re entitled to it.