On the day I was born, the state of my country was in great disarray. Oddly enough, not unlike how it is at the moment. Of course, on that day I had no clue of the havoc humanity can reak on itself nor of the lessons one can derive from simple, quiet observation. The struggle for social and political fairness is not a new one. It’s as old as time, itself. Yet, as we evolve through time and contribute to our continued history, intelligent clarity has begun to lead the way. The beautiful pearl, in the struggle for equality, has begun to emerge from the oyster.
Half a century ago, a brutal war raged in a faraway country that left many straining to reconcile patriotism with the ethical question of what it was all for. That was one imbalance.
The sexual revolution was in full swing. The younger generation proclaiming “free love” in stark rebellion against the hypocrisy and hate of past decades. Yet, the vehicle by which some would arrive at that place of free love was of a hallucinogenic nature, which often left homelessness, addiction and death in its wake. Another imbalance.
This was the bewildering and disorienting environment that I entered into. Learning to pull myself up and walk straight in a world seemly still learning to do those things too.
However, one of the beauties of life is learning and for as many times as I’ve traveled on this tiny, blue dot around the sun, there has been much to observe and realize. Both in looking around and looking back. Observing.
One particular observation that seems to circle back, again and again, is the concept of equality. For as long as my eyes have seen, I have watched this concept being defended with such a passion and perseverance as to be inspiring. Aspiring.
The opponent I see challenging this passion and perseverance is domination and power.
From the beginning of recorded history, we see, time and time again, one side of a conflict vying for domination and power over the other. Here and there a small effort toward balance is seen but for the most part, it was all about one side either acquiring land and resources or simple freedom from the other.
The concept of equality, as we understand it today, is relatively new, demonstrating itself more clearly beginning in the 2nd half of the 19th century, when the power of monarchies began to diminish making way for more democratic ideas, giving a voice to the common people.
To this day, the familiar presence of dominance and power remains. The suffocating and repressive rule of once sovereign monarchies has been manifesting in the form of authoritarian regimes. It will not go quietly into the night, just yet. What is most interesting though, is the increasing strength of resistance that it encounters.
The pearl in the oyster is that the resistance doesn’t endeavor to gain the upper hand, to gain dominance and power for itself. It is literal equality that it seeks. A level playing field for all. This is what I observe the opposition fully failing to understand. They still cling, for dear life, to the idea that one side must have dominance over the other in order for society to survive.
…and that is where cultural evolution comes into play. Something that has been happening since the dawn of human civilization. Things change, they evolve, however, slowly, for the better. It may come as a surprise to the clingers, but ‘survival of the fittest’ applies to this process too. If you don’t adapt, well….
The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings. – Albert Schweitzer