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Saturday, August 09, 2008

What is True Equality?

I have listened to many definitions and examples of equality. Many even insist that equality means being the same in everything. The same education, the same work, the same pay, the same personality, the same in everything. But is that right? For people to be equal, they should be exactly the same?

Let me offer my example. Suppose there are two people, one may be big, one may be small. The big person eats two pounds of food a meal. The small person eats one pound a meal. That's all they need to be satisfied. If they have more food, they they have excess ; if they have less food, they undereat and they get hungry. Of course true equality would mean that they deserve to be satisfied.

If they eat the same amount, they are not eating according to their proper fill. The big person is undereating while the small person has more food. The big person will be more hungry, while the small person will have all he wants, but will have excess, and may let it go to waste! That is inequality. But if the big person has two pounds of food and the small person has one pound of food, they are both satisfied at the right level, and they are thus equal!

As you can see, the concept of equality does not depend on the amount of food; it depends rather on the end result, which is the feeling of satisfaction after eating. This should be the concept of true equality, wherein the people have what they need and are satisfied without being envious of one another, even if they have different amounts of goods.

Notice this analogy also depends on another concept: people are not necessarily the same. Someone who believes in the "sameness" philosophy will insist that both eat one and a half pound of food each. He will say, "Hey, why should two people be satisfied with different amounts of food! They're both people, right? They should be the same! That this is true equality; both have the same amount of food to eat." But I disagree.

People are born different. Those who cannot understand this are out of touch with reality. There is a big and small person. There is a person who eats much and eats less. There are different people. Being the same is not the same as being equal (tongue-twister there). It is not the material amounts makes people equal. It is the treatment of the people, which is exactly what equality is based on. Equality is more of a qualitative concept, not quantitative.

One of the faults of people is the insane insistence to be same (or insistence to see eye to eye all the time). They insist on sameness when God actually made them all different. If they want to force people to be the same, then they are going against the creation of God!

Another concept to be considered is this: what if a person has committed a crime and is in jail, and is eating less? Then a person who has done no crime is doing well and is eating well. Some may point out that this is inequality. But no. One person did a crime and is paying the consequences for it. The other is paying for his acting properly in society. There is no inequality. There are consequences for one's actions, and this example only proves that.

One more poignant example is when a certain man, a Christian, sees a Muslim having two wives. The man one wife, but was caught in an affair with another woman, and so he is being punished for it. But the Christian will insist, "Why does that Muslim have two wives? I want equality. We should both have two wives."

But this is wrong. The laws for both religions are set. The Christian law allows only one wife, while the Muslim laws allow two. Both religions say that chasing after women without marriage is wrong, and so deserves punishment. Also, let's say the Muslim is faithful to both his wives, looking for no one else. He does nothing wrong. So his having two wives is not unequal to the Christian. The Christian broke rules and had an affair, so it is fair. So they are equal. If the Christian sticks with his one wife, and the Muslim sticks with his two wives, they are still equal.

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