Worth the Effort

Go the Distance

Equality is a principle that we all embrace with great enthusiasm.  It is an ideal that honours the spirit of community and fair-mindedness.  Acting on this high standard is where we encounter challenges to our value and belief systems.  “Walking the talk”, is very different from engaging in a theoretically discussion.

Mary Douglas (1921-2007), a British anthropologist who was known for her work on human culture, symbolism and social anthropology, wrote, “Real equality is immensely difficult to achieve, it needs continual revision and monitoring of distributions.  And it does not provide buffers between members, so they are continually colliding or frustrating each other.”

Equality is worth the frustration, the revision, the monitoring.   We strive towards an ideal. What we do in the present may only be realized beyond our timeline. Our efforts, in the long-term, will not be in vain. Fanny Wright (1795-1852), lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, abolitionist and social reformer, was resolved on this point.  “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.”

24 thoughts on “Worth the Effort

  1. Equality does require so much monitoring and work and revision and so I find it very frustrating that as a society we spend so much energy on deciding and classifying who deserves or is worthy, or not , of pensions, or Govt aid or disability assistance or aged care benefits or health insurance etc. I know there has to be a system of allocation of resources but until we rid ourselves of the notion of the deserving and the undeserving and that there must be those who judge, then we will continue to struggle for equality. Our energy needs to focus on new strategies and new thinkings and new language in so many areas of life.

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  2. Unfortunately, equality gains the enthusiasm of the people as long it doesn’t interfere with their affairs. We see that very often in Poland. It makes me sick, somethimes. We’ve got it written in our constitution but it isn’t enough – I wish this law mean more for everybody.

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    • Equality is a word that speaks to the best of humanity. I agree – enthusiasm is not enough to deter activity that works against optimum outcomes. A constitution is a good starting point, but it must be embedded in the hearts and souls of the population. George Orwell once said: “No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.” While we may not have reached the ideal, I think that we have made steps in the right direction. As long as the conversation continues, there is hope! Thank you so very much for joining the dialogue. Your comments and presence are appreciated.

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  3. I think in reality we are all equal, we’re flesh and blood, all the same. Same problems, same worries, same joys, but how to rid the world of thoughts that we are not equal I think is an impossible challenge. If someone is determined to think themselves greater than another, and that other responds in feeling less equal, it never goes away. Personally if I feel someone is giving off vibes through body language and speech I deal with it there and then, in whatever way is appropriate, but there is always the feeling that in that action, I could be making myself ‘higher’ than they, which means I’ve just continued the unequal thinking!! It’s a complicated one – or maybe it’s just me making it complicated?

    But on the other hand, if we all respected each other in perfection, our lives might be a little dull, like living in a ‘Stepford Wife’ life, where we are all polite and respectful of one another! Strangely maybe we need the challenge of unequal thinking in order that our brains stay alive and kicking!

    I love your picture by the way, get a real feeling of standing on that track!
    Suzy😀

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    • Thank you for your insightful comments and questions. You reminded me of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” We are complex creatures. Equality is advanced thought and is not easy to grasp. Perhaps it is a concept that challenges us to seek the best of all possible outcomes. I am glad that we connected over the blogger miles.

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  4. I like Fanny’s quote, and I’m also impressed with the writings of Olive Schreiner (1855 – 1920), a South African author, anti-war campaigner and intellectual, who wrote and fought great lengths for equality.

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    • Thank you so much for bringing up Olive Schreiner – an amazing woman! I especially like when she said, ““My feeling is that there is nothing in life but refraining from hurting others, and comforting those who are sad.” Perhaps that could be the definition of equality in action.

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  5. What a fabulous post, thank you. I am the senior Equalities champion for our organisation. This resonates so well with me – the need to re-evaluate constantly whether we are achieving equality in the workplace; indeed whether we all have a common understanding of equality in the first place. But strive we must to produce the right result, whatever that may be.

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    • You always seem to be in the middle of the conversation!! Your organization is so very very lucky to have you as their Eqaulities champion. Just to know that organizations have instituted this position suggests that we are moving forward!!! Keeping the conversation going is certain progress!!

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  6. Hi Rebecca, I am so behind…I missed this blog completely. I only know your two other blogs and was not aware of this one which musiqdragonfly mentioned today. Is this your primary blog now? I didn’t see any posts from the other two. I will follow all your blogs now to make sure I have not missed anything.

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    • Hello Denise!!! So very very pleased that you dropped by! You have found my “daily” blog – LadyBudd. Over the years, I have used quotes to focus my energies on the positive. It has helped me to be more thoughtful and disciplined in my decisions. With a quote, I know that someone has faced the same challenges that I have and found a way to celebrate, rather than despair. This is where I put my daily thoughts and connect them to photos that have meaning to me. Clanmother is still going – have some posts that are in the works. OnTheRoad is for my books and poetry and ChasingArt is my journey into the art world. TakingTheKitchen still is under “construction.” I am looking forward to our ongoing dialogue in 2013!!! We are on an adventure!!!

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