Notice, we’re always putting these two words together. As though they fit. I’m here to argue they don’t. Think about, if we’re given enough liberty, some of us are eventually going become less equal than the rest. In terms of our money, our fame, our power. Face it, some of us are better than others, and given enough liberty, we prove it.
Having said that, lets see how this works out in everyday life.
The gaps between us are everywhere to be seen. The 1% vs the 99%…the high IQs vs the low IQs…the strong vs the weak…the famous vs the unknowns….the gifted vs the talentless. It’s a long litany, and for some a painful one. It helps explain a world filled with people with rage. Why doesn’t my country have what they have…? why should she get that promotion…? why isn’t my kid getting that scholarship…? when-did-God-die-and-give-you-his-job?
But take hope, all you frustrated could-have-beens, for there are times when virtually everyone is compelled to accept their equality with the rest of us.
With the possible exception of popes, presidents and George Clooney, we all have to stop for red lights… pull over for ambulances…be security checked at airports…slid into the same MRI in labs…placed under the same scalpels in surgery. At moments like these, we are all one. All the same. All duplicates struggling equally with our fates. It’s the lesson prophets and saints have been preaching forever; and forever being ignored or killed. You have to wonder — what’s wrong with us!
Here’s a guess. We are each painfully aware of our sameness, yet yearn for some sort of differentness. Especially in our times and in our culture where being different means being celebrated. For some, espeically the young. thisyearning has become a career. Even a pathology. Somehow, I don’t think Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson or even George Clooney thought of liberty as celebrity.
Now if I could just explain to my nine-year-old niece that being another Miley Cyrus should really not be her life’s calling…..
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