August 20, 2016
Somebody somewhere has written that “all men are created equal.” I didn’t write it; I am unable to parse the sentence.
At simple face value, even if we change the word “men” to “persons,” the sentence could be interpreted as follows: at the time of birth, all 7,000,000,000 of us on this planet share a like portion of being human. Whatever that would mean.
I am far more inclined to believe that all persons do not come into this world at a similar starting line. Even if I could be convinced that the starting line is more or less “fair,” I know that in hours, no, in seconds, the equality will have vanished.
Some individuals are born with more power and privilege and opportunity. Others are born with traits that favor their gaining power and privilege and opportunity. The result — there is a huge difference, a vast difference in the amount of power and privilege and opportunity found even by the time a child enters the first grade.
The three terms power and privilege and opportunity pertain to a vast array of particulars: money, political position, gender, race, clan, religious affiliation, educational level, occupation, native country, personality traits, health care and many additional criteria. They make a level playing field impossible to build and maintain.
To prove a point may I suggest that you are selected in a random sample of 100 people from out of the world’s 7,000,000,000. You are gathered together in an open field and there are asked to make a line — to stand in a line — from the least powerful/privileged to the most. Where do you think you would fit?
And what shall you make of this position?