Problems with this world #1: Inequality
I want to get straight to the problems that are unsurfaced, uncorrected in our life in this present age.
Firstly, we have the problem of equality of Man. Man has always been striving to achieve equality for Mankind. From the civil rights movements to King’s “I have a dream” speech to socialism, later communism, Man has indeed been progessing forward to establish social equality for all. As we modernize, we began to see Man demonstrating for more forms of equality, we see people gathering at Hong Lim Park, clothed in pink to fight for LGBT rights, freedom to love, we see non-governmental organizations sprouting up, with a cause which is to eliminate sexism in society, we see politicians, governmental officials debating in parliament over the importance of equal starting opportunities. I use Singapore as an example, because this is where I grew up in. Singapore’s governemnt emphasis much on equal starting opportunity for all Singaporeans, regardless of race, language or religion. The government has taken much effort in ensuring that all schools in Singapore have a competent staff, enrolling them in MOE’s teacher training modules and well-equipped facilities and has integrated technology into classrooms, using ipods, ipads to help students especially visual learners in their academic pursuit.
In a meritocracy country, where one deserves to enjoy the fruits of his labour, it is of paramount importance that everyone starts on equal grounds, so as to be fair. “Fair”, another layman term for equality. Many countries, in fact most countries, having been working towards a fair-for-all state, so as to reduce social and poltical unrest or instability. History has taught us that those who wishes to topple or go against this natural order of equality has suffered the consequences.
Man has valued equality more than anything and will always continue to do so, it’s human nature, its inbred in our species that we must strive for equality. Equality is Man’s only hope in comforting himself that he is not the weakest, not the fallen one in his species.
However, can we say for one that we have attained true equality? I must admit, in today’s, the past and the future, there will always be circumstances that Man has no say, no power over. The decision therefore is made by God. Who is the one who decides whether you are born into a royal family? Who is the one who decides whether you are born in the slums, the wastelands? Who is the one who decides whether you are born with a disease, say leukemia? Here, I have point out 3 things that are co-existent with us in this world. Money. Power. Health. These 3 things have been the most relevant, most treasured, most important things to Mankind and they are also the deciding factors to judge whether you are equal to or below, or above men around you.
Money. Money has always been a classification for the hiraechy structure in our society. History once again teaches us that slave traders demand high prices for slaves who supposedly have more value than other slaves. Wikipedia indicates the net worth of many celebrities on their articles. What this tells us is that we use money to determine each other’s worth and when we do that, we are also implying that the richer, the wealthier have more worth than the poorer in society. If that’s the case, isn’t money a main reason why we have inequality in this world?
Power. Barack Obama, Opera Winfrey, Michael Jackson. These are just a few names of powerful men in our world. What I mean by “powerful” is the influence you have to those around you and the scale of impact you are able to effect to them. Barack Obama, the 44th United States black president. Opera Winfrey, a talk show hostress with millions of loyal audience who would kill themselves should they miss a single episode of her talk show. Michael Jackson, a singer whose music has inspired millions and touched their hearts. How are these people powerful? We for one, never see them walking in the park, alone. What we see is huge battlements of bodyguards, police cars and a huge crowd of peopl awaiting their arrival. I’ll be honest, I never had a bodyguard before. Why do these people need bodyguards then? The answer is simple, because their lives are more important than ours. Let’s face it, we are lesser man than them. When Michael Jackson died, the whole world griefed for him, guards carried his coffin and paraded around his hometown with millions of fan joining together. Every year after his death, we see on social media, people commerating his death anniversary. He has created a legacy that will last even after his death, he is powerful. What then happens when we die? A simple burial or worst, when Man has used up every single available land of this Earth, our lifeless bodies will be cremeated and the ashes scattered across the sea. Our existence will be forgotten, washed away by the waves. We are less important than them. If that’s the case, isn’t power, authority a contributor to inequality in this world then?
Health. In news reports, you see parents griefing over their precious who succumbed to a disease. The look on their faces, that of sadness and guilt. They blame themselves for not being able to produce a healthy baby. They blame, possibly God, for choosing their precious to be a vicitim of illnesses. I have always believed that life is very precious to us, we only live once. The question we must ask ourselves is why do some of us have a longer life expectancy than others? Why do some people live until a ripe age of 110, while others die just after they are born? We have heard stories of celebrities who at their prime died of a sudden heart attack or because of cancer, just when they have accumulated their wealth but have not the time to use it. Is this fair? Is it fair for us to not enjoy the fruits of our labour? Is it fair that someone is able to experience life longer than us? Because we live in a modern era, that we have sciences to tell us the answers, genes, diet, environmental factors etc. But then again I ask you, why do we allow ourselves to not live in the same place, to not eat the same food, to not be produced by healthy parents? Health, itself has always made our lives not equal and will always do so.
Why do allow ourselves to be subjected to inequality when in the past and today we fight hard, everday for our rights, for equality. Have we forgotten that these 3 factors are also part of our rights? The question I would like to impose to you is why do we fight for equality only in several aspects of our lives? Are we truly equal if we are equal only in monetary factor? No. Are we equal if we are only servants and masters of none? No. I believe that equality only exist when there is no forms of inequality present. It has to be the extreme scale, either equality in all aspects or inequality prevails.