“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.”
― Michelle Hodkin
I’ve seen the above image circulating for a while on various social media platforms, and while the sentiment of the image is uplifting, the reality is it’s simply not true. We are not all the same, and we are not all equal.
How do I know this?
Well, society has a way of exposing its hypocrisy. We often hear people say that “we all bleed the same” and “we’re all one human race”, but we never seek to assess the truth of it. We do all bleed red and we are all human, but class, race, sex, position and many more are some influential determining factors that have often made the ideal of equality associated with these statements false. While it would be nice for them to be true, these statements exclude the reality of the human condition.
Humans are animals first, our survival is based on instinct which is also based on what we see, hear, feel and think. Our treatment of others also relates to this instinct and is integral to some of what has constructed a lot of our societal infrastructure. Though we are human we all have differences, and these differences determine how we perceive and relate to each other based on our instinct.
Furthermore, differences between us as humans have resulted in an existing social hierarchy. A man who is educated is not thought to be equal to one who is illiterate and is treated as such. A politician is not thought to be equal to a citizen who is not involved in public service. In the minds of some; a black man is not thought to be equal to a white one because of stereotypes associated with skin colour. And though many efforts have been extended to change the narrative, a man is not thought to be equal to a woman, which has resulted in much debate about equal pay and gender equality. There is an evident structure in society that changes our differences into positions along the scale of equality.
However, many seem to think that despite our differences in race, religion, political status, class, career etcetera that we are the “same”. How far is this from the truth! In fact, social inequality has plagued us for such a long time that it is often impossible for certain factions of society to effectively function without it. Inequality is how the rich stay rich and the poor remain poor. Inequality is why persons are in specific positions that others are not fully equipped to be in. Inequality is why we have people who tend to us in the medical profession and why there are postmen and garbage collectors. Society in of itself functions on inequality because is creates a gap where everyone has a role/position, that helps to facilitate the efficient operation of any community or society.
For more on social inequality see here.
People in modern times seem to love mirages of reality rather than transparent images of truth. We thrive on the principles of idealism knowing that nothing can ever be truly prefect. And society is not perfect, and this has been shown time and time again. But it is this imperfection that allows it to be what it is and allows us to be who we are.
While I’m not a sociologist, I would venture to say that the differences between us as humans have been translated into a value system that has been transformed into the inequality that currently exists. While we would like to say everyone is the same, this belief is not true and we must cease from drinking from the cup of delusion.
Just my opinion.