Equality is NOT a Noun

The question of equality and rights rings in my ears as I sit down to enjoy dinner with my wife. It’s been a long day so far and it’s not over. Tonight we have a surprise birthday for my best friend.

EQUALITY

I try to focus on the curry rice, mixed vegetables and balsamic rosemary chicken breast.

EQUALITY

She’s eating her food and glancing up at me as I type trying to figure out why I have a device at the dining table. We agreed no devices at the table.

EQUALITY

I guess I should explain why this noun is resonating with me so badly. Today the team and I went walking to find a good route for our upcoming marathon. We got out there around 6 a.m. I was immediately put into a bad state of mind because we decided to start at these beautiful townhouses located on the river.
The landscaping is flawless, the scenery beautiful and the weather was absolutely perfect.
But I remember what was here for years prior to these beautiful townhouses located on an underutilized river that we used to call the mud run because of its murky appearance.
It was called Gateway! It was an apartment complex that housed a lot of my friends and hundreds of minority families.
Over the years time had taken its toll on the projects.

EQUALITY

We should use it as a verb.

EQUALITY

People say they want things all the time but if they’re not doing anything to get that thing, it remains something they want. Wants are easy to come by, we want a new car, new outfit, new house, better relationship with a loved one, but they all require action. If you are unable to save or otherwise earn money to purchase the thing you want, chances are you can’t get it. If you don’t put in the work required to mend that relationship, chances are it won’t improve.

EQUALITY

It works the same way as your wants. There are distinct differences in everything in life. Income levels, education level and lastly and probably most notably is differences in wealth. We spend the majority of our adult lives working to be better off than our parents. As a matter of fact we don’t want to be equal to our parents, WE WANT TO BE BETTER!
Yes I get it, we are talking about the laws of humanity and self-governance. We are talking about how all humans should treat each other. But the strange thing is that we do not practice that in any other aspects of our lives. Self-interest is counter equality. Self-interest is governed by the need to maximize your happiness.
We spend countless years in college to gain a competitive advantage in the labor market to ensure we get the high paying jobs. When we interview we sure as hell hope our resume is the best in the pile. We are not looking for equality there. Yes, I get it, my examples are extreme but they need to be.

EQUALITY

It’s subject to change. Over the centuries, the definition of “men” has changed and opportunities have changed, therefore the conversation regarding equality has to change. Equality is not a noun, nor does it exist solely to describe a status. For example, let’s say all “men” are created equal. That means nothing else has to change because equality is a given. We all know things don’t quite work out that way, no matter where you are. Equality requires action. It’s not so different than those the Declaration of Independence referred to. They had to earn their status to fall into that “all men” category. In 2018, we have to earn it! How many times did your mother or some elder tell you “Nothing in life is free”? Nobody is going to GIVE you anything.

EQUALITY

We have to work for it, just like the examples of things we want listed above. This was the source of my frustration during my walk. I will preface this with it wasn’t just this area in which I noticed this trend. I’ve walked, ran, jogged, hiked, and even kayaked through most of Rochester’s surrounding areas and have noticed the same tendencies. The people I spot exercising, at various times of the day and in different locations are largely white. There are few minorities out exercising.

EQUALITY

It is something that you fight for. Equality is an action word…IT’S A VERB!!
So as I run these trails and try to stay healthy (because health is wealth) I am thoroughly disgusted that I don’t see more minorities out here with me. As I look at health and education data, my mind is blown by the audacity of people to sit around and demand equality.

EQUALITY

In order to obtain it we have to level the playing field with our actions. There’s an income gap that can be altered with the acquisition of education (trade or higher learning), an increase in income, savings and investments and strategic positioning of power. Health is wealth and we can improve that by living healthier lifestyles. Consuming healthier foods and beverages, maintaining an active lifestyle and seeing a doctor regularly are all preventative measures that can improve our health and thereby, our wealth. We also have to work together because there is strength in numbers. When we as a whole can step to the table with greater knowledge, health and wealth, we won’t have to ask to be treated equally because we’ll be standing eye to eye and at the same table.

EQUALITY

How can we possibly claim to want it when we don’t do the things we need to secure it?

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