Since the dawn of mankind, the world has been pretty much ruled by, well, mankind. White males did a pretty amazing job of seizing power at every single opportunity. Through religious, cultural, classist, racist, homophobic, and gender-based exclusion, we’ve been dominated by a unilateral force. Within this power group, it’s easy to see why the status quo is so appealing. You’re never the one being persecuted. You win the life lottery from day one. For everyone outside of this circle, it’s been one small, grueling victory after another to achieve even a small semblance of equal footing. This is unacceptable and entirely counter-productive to the continued existence and proliferation of humanity.
At its core, hatred and intolerance are bred from fear and cowardice. These men fear the loss of control and the dispersal of their absolute power across all population groups. This fear is so deep that it manifests itself in the form of violence, blackballing, institutionalized prejudice, and a society of omission. It’s as if these other groups don’t even exist. They may as well be invisible.
The most cliché phrase of all is “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” but it couldn’t be truer than in the context of giving a voice to the voiceless. If it weren’t for those loud, dissident, malcontents, there would be no civil rights for anyone. Women wouldn’t be allowed to vote. Every section of human life that has been oppressed would continue to be oppressed. Despite my varying degrees of sympathy for the plights of different causes or my opinion on their message or medium, I’m in full support of the principles behind them. Bubbling up discontent is the only way to start conversations and get folks looking into solutions.
People are so concerned with the fact that, right now, they have a larger piece of the pie than their neighbor. They’ve worked harder than their peers. They’ve struggled and fought for their jobs and their families and their creature comforts. They don’t want to give that up. Fortunately, they don’t have to.
It’s not socialism, but rather common decency that dictates the need to provide for food, shelter, healthcare, and generalized education of all the citizens in an industrialized country. That makes for a level playing field. Once our innate needs are taken care of, then the competitive nature of humanity can set in. Those smartest, hardest working, most creative, and most ambitious will be the cream that rises to the top. They’ll be able to prove their worth relative to their peers and reap the rewards in the form of increased monetary compensation. I don’t understand how this is a hard concept to grasp.
I know it’s not the most popular opinion, but I love competition. I don’t want to have an easy go of things just because I’ve inherently got several legs up on every challenger that approaches. I want every man, woman, child of all races, religious backgrounds, classes, ethnic groups, sexual orientations, genders, physical and emotional conditions to be paid equally for the same job. I want them to be offered the same opportunities and pitted against each other on quantifiable grounds like effort, skill, and efficiency instead of traits you’re born with or can’t control. I’m not saying any one group should be favored over any other, but they should all have the same starting line.
Once we’re all fighting the same battle in the same trenches with the same equipment and our basic survival needs are being met, we can focus on important things like the progress of human thought, technology, improving our way of life, and achieving sustainability. We cannot let the fear of losing control shackle us to a world of separation. We’re all in this experience together. Let’s instead revel in our commonalities and find new ways to make things better for everyone.