We all Say we Want it, but What is Equality?

by Doug Valentine, Peebles, Scotland

I was talking with a friend the other day and we began to talk about equality. His initial position was there is no point in talking about equality as he wasn’t sure exactly what it was, and was convinced no-one else knew, either. He made the valid point that if you asked everybody what equality was, you would get as many answers as the number of people you asked. He added that during his period working in teaching there had been a big push for equality, which in this instance meant that all children should be treated the same, regardless of their abilities or their needs. This led to a situation where the brighter students were held back, which made them bored and frustrated. Meanwhile, the less able students were taken along at a pace that they couldn’t cope with, so lost even more confidence or gave up completely.

My friend had proven his point very decisively, there is no agreed definition of equality, and each person has their own interpretation. Of course we have dictionaries, but they tend to be slightly vague and open to many interpretations as well.

The truth is it seems that we have lost the original meaning of words – not just of equality. It might be a sensible approach for us to give it up as lost and accept that whenever two people communicate they will always re-interpret what the other person is saying. Therefore there will never be any true communication; it is always going to be re-interpreted to mean something different from what was said. After all, that is what we have been doing for aeons.

But can we truthfully say it has ever worked for us?

Have we, as a species, progressed in anyway whatsoever?

Are there any less wars now than in the past?

Do we care for each other any better than in the past?

Or is mankind as loveless now as we have ever been?

So, perhaps getting to the truth of the meaning of words, and especially to the truth of the word ‘equality’, is something well worthy of consideration.

Looking to my own particular experience, because of my father working abroad I missed 4 years of school from age 6 to 10 – this left me with three terms to prepare for the 11 plus exam, which in those days streamed the passers to grammar schools. These prepared pupils for university while the failures went to secondary modern schools, which prepared pupils for a trade of some sort. There were over 40 in my class; around 4 passed and the rest of us failed. Yes, I failed, and my parents felt that they had no option but to move me across into private education. The entrance into public (public schools are private schools in England) schools was at age 13 so I had two years to get prepared for the entrance examinations. By having extra tuition after school several days a week, I somehow managed to scrape through the entrance exam at 13…and when I say scrape I am not exaggerating, they put me in the bottom class of the bottom year. All my friends went straight into classes a year ahead of me.

Whilst I now view the four year absence of schooling as a key part of my development as it helped me to learn to think for myself and establish my independence at an early age, returning to the school environment triggered a complete loss of confidence in me. It is not as if I had much confidence before this occurred – so my sense of self-worth was very low.  It took me around five years to slowly but surely undo this. I went to a school where there were many privileged students from wealthy families who appeared to consider that they were better than others because of it. I learned what arrogance was, and I didn’t like it.

The school I went to had a tradition going back 100 years,called fagging. What this meant was that the students new to the school were forced to act as a servant doing general chores for the whole community – such as being responsible for the milk crate or keeping the library tidy etc. More significantly, each fag would have one particular senior student, their fag master, for whom they would have to act as a personal servant, doing anything that was asked of them: many of the seniors were really nasty to their fags and cruelty was often witnessed. If there was any insubordination the older boy had the right to beat (i.e. corporal punishment using a cane) the fag, and frequently did. This all felt very wrong to me – it gave one person power over another but didn’t demand any integrity or responsibility from the senior boy. It was saying “the world isn’t equal, feel what it is like to be at the bottom of the pile, then when you are older you will get to feel what it is like to have power over others – and see which you prefer”. When I was at the top of the school five years later my peers and I abolished fagging.

The thing that helped me most to address my low self-worth was being good at any game that had a ball involved with it. So whilst I had got used to being looked down upon from an academic standpoint, it came as a welcome surprise to be looked up to for my sporting ability and leadership. The other thing that helped me at this time, whenever I felt the lack of self-worth knocking at the door, was to tell myself that I was just as good as anyone else. What I was telling myself was that I was equal to everyone else, which a part of me knew to be true.

So is there a way we can pinpoint where the word equality originally came from? Maybe if we can find where the word originated, we can put out a definition we can all agree upon? One concept that I have heard from differing religions, is that of one God, with all its followers being his children, and he loving them all equally. Common sense would indicate that all his children means all of mankind, not just the followers of one religion. So if God loves us all equally – ­what does equally mean? Maybe by pondering on this we might come to a definition of equality that we could all agree on. After all, if we are all God’s children, then we are all each other’s brothers and sisters, so agreement would be a good thing because we all know that disharmony within a family harms all.

For me it feels a truth that God loving us all equally means that he never favours one of his children over another. It follows that never is any one child more than any other, and never is any one child less than any other.

If it were possible to agree to a definition, it certainly doesn’t mean we all have to have the same skills and abilities. We need different skills and abilities; we need quantum physicists and we need rubbish collectors. We need doctors, we need cleaners and of course they may earn different wages depending upon the market they have chosen to work in, but they are always equal.

For me, every single one of us is equal; all we need to do is claim it.

Thank you to Serge Benhayon and all at Universal Medicine for helping me see simplicity and clarity out of the complexity and confusion.

362 thoughts on “We all Say we Want it, but What is Equality?

  1. I was pleased to read that fagging was abolished at your school while you were there, it left me thinking that whole thing about fagging is about bullying, and how unfair and unjust any form of bullying is in school or anywhere else.

  2. There is so much in this article Doug. What you experienced with the loss of confidence in returning to school is what we all experience in the education system. We all lose our bodily confidence and rely on our mental stature to give us our place in society. As you shared the fagging system is a very effective way to imprint inequality – the more than, less than psyche that we all fall for , despite the fact that we are all equal and one energetically. Fagging is like the complete opposite of mentoring, where an older/more experienced person is able to support and empower a younger or less experienced person.

  3. The way I am experiencing or realizing equality is gradual, gradual because every time I am willing to let go a bit more of individuality I get to know a deeper version of equality, hence I am curious and open to expanding my understanding and experience of equality rather than claiming I would already know it in full.

  4. ‘When I was at the top of the school five years later my peers and I abolished fagging’. That such a brutal tradition had survived within a school for 100 years is concerning as one can only wonder how many students were tormented and abused in that time. I also cannot but wonder about how many of them went on to have issues they struggled with later in adulthood because of what happened at school. Well done Doug, I bet that felt totally awesome abolishing fagging.

  5. Yes I can see that we can place a meaning on a word based on our experience of the word so it is laced with our hurts or not. Yet if we have a foundation in our bodies of a knowing that we all come from the same source, then there is more understanding that there will be differences on the outside but that does not change the equality of the inside.

  6. True meaning in words is imperative for us living with True understanding of what is happening around us, because reinterpretations, misinterpretation and those little white lies become normal.

  7. Your school experiences reminded me of a past Victorian age Doug, not experiences that should be in your lifetime and it is horrendous that such practices are still applied today, as recent similar experiences of bullying have been exposed by a mother in the media about a famous public school in UK last week. It shows how slow we can be to change our traditions, especially when they are as archaic as this.

  8. We are all equal within our essence, and that equal essence expresses in many and varied ways, a uniqueness that is our spark of divine light, expressing forth in the quality of our skills and abilities.

  9. I was a little surprised that people have had difficulty in determining what is equality and equality in practice. But I can see that when we define who we are, based on attributes, skills, status, wealth, physical appearance, kindness, integrity – basically anything other than our divine essence within, we will of course struggle. I was so invested in being the better than someone else at something, I didn’t want to feel the pain of having abandoned my essence and admit having done so was completely pointless. That said I couldn’t handle how awful it felt to not feel how beautiful it is when I feel the equality we all are.

  10. What a wonderful blog. Knowing equality is such a beautiful knowing. It takes all the illusion away that we are not equal because we put so much emphasis on valuing certain skills over others and not recognising the love we are that is totally equal. I’m embracing being unable to say one person’s better than another because of whatever arbitrary choice of observation about them that I may choose – kinder, funnier, prettier, cleverer etc. The world may wish to pigeon hole people into a value (how much they are worth paying or not, for example) but we don’t have to do this to ourselves or others.

  11. Yes, equality in beingness, in who we essentially are, not in the outer accessories everyone chooses for themselves.

  12. Actually, we are all equal. We just don’t treat each other that way but how we treat each other does not affect our equality.

  13. The illusion is born when we see the world solely through the lens of our intellect and not through the lens of our heart.

  14. We are each the equal part of a grand majestic whole. That we have drifted from the knowing of this simple truth is an indication of the degree of separation we each live in whereby each part not only forgets and thus forgoes its responsibility to maintain the integrity of the whole it is a part of, it also starts to compete with the other equal parts, thus introducing scale (‘better’ versus ‘less’) to undermine this equality.

    1. Expressed like this I can so easily see why society on a world-wide scale is falling apart; disintegrating in the drive for better: the never ending dissatisfaction, only peppered by flutterings of hope that perhaps the next pictured desire is achievable.

  15. How beautiful it will be when we once again embrace true equality knowing that it means that we are all the same, different expressions but we are by essence all the same.

  16. “For me, every single one of us is equal; all we need to do is claim it.” We are not the same, each of us having unique abilities and gifts, but this doesn’t mean we aren’t equal with each other, Every jigsaw needs every single piece in order to be complete. If we don’t claim ourselves, no-one else will do this for us.

  17. “For me every single one of us is equal. All we need to do is claim it,” We are equal in essence and everyone is bringing his or her expression and we need each other as we all bring something different. When we feel the truth of this it will knock out comparison and jealousy, or any self doubt and it will let us evolve together.

  18. The fagging you describe sounds pretty much like slavery but because it is a school ritual it is seen as ‘ok’. It is really interesting to see in how many pockets of life there are things accepted whilst they are actually abusive. I loved how your year ended this fagging instead of continuing the process by now finally being able to be in power over (abuse) another.

  19. “For me every single one of us is equal. All we need to do is claim it,” We can all be equal but have different qualities that give us our unique expression.

  20. We are all seeking equality in the outer world and in our relationships when all the time we are equal in our innermost and essence. The answer is to live from our innermost rather than in reaction to the outer world.

  21. Doug, It is worthy of deep appreciation the fact that you were part of the group who abolished the tradition of “fagging”, which was nothing less than pure evil. To stamp out this abuse would have saved many boys from suffering the indignity which those before them did, so well done for having the love and courage to ban this evil practice.

  22. What if equality is not the closing of our eyes and pretending we don’t see colour, what if equality actually is seeing colour, understanding the difference in cultures, understandings etc. but still treating every human being with the same amount of love…

  23. ‘I want equality – but can I keep my ideals? I’ve heard good things about this equality thing – but doesn’t that mean I’d have to let other people in? Equality is great in principle I agree – but can I maintain my superiority – part time?’. We all have our investment in the way the world currently is. To truly change we need to renounce this. Whatever the flavour none can come close to the true glory of connectedness.

  24. This is a very beautiful blog Doug, What an awful tradition you describe with “fagging”, absolute abuse. Thanks heavens you abolished it when you could.

  25. It is interesting how through boarding school you learnt to understand equality by observing that there was no equality in how the pupils were with each other. There are so many words that we have bastardised or misused that make sure we don’t connect to their true meaning. We use words such as ‘equality’ but they mean nothing unless we live it in every part of our life. So, if I allow myself to feel equal at work but not at home then there is no equality in my life. Equality is not something you can ra ra or package up it has to be lived and felt to know its true and absolute meaning, and the more we live it the more we understand what the word truly means.

  26. Everything about this plane of life we exist on confirms us in individuality and we are bombarded by the imageries and beliefs that scream the superficial differences in how we look and what we do, and it makes it almost impossible to connect to who we are and know that we are in truth equal.

  27. Our equality is within our inner hearts not in something we can do or say. It is in the quality of our movements where we consider others and the fact that how we choose to live in life impacts the all.

  28. As children there are may times when we can identify the status quo of behaviour as not right, but be unable to do anything about it. It was good to read that you were able to abolish fagging once you got to the senior class in your school. What an obnoxious practice caning is, regardless of whether it comes from senior or teacher or even parent. It is physical abuse. So often the abused become abusers themselves and the cycle continues.

  29. When I consider my children I would say that the love in my heart for them is equal, yet what I love them for is as different as is the expression of their essence. My son utterly melts me with his ability to be honest, vulnerable and all round squidgyness, whilst my daughter has me totally opening up in wonder at her grace, power and all round lovely sweetness. In equallness we all need to accept and honour what we bring, whilst at the same time accept and honour those differing qualities in others. When we can all behold each other in deep appreciation, then we will have true equality.

  30. This article so simply exposes the way we have misinterpreted words and demeaned their true meaning. The problem with us as a humanity is that we have done this with many words. Unimedpedia is again claiming back the true origins of words and recording this very needed information for us today and those in the future, visit it at http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia.

  31. I love how you use the word claim: “For me, every single one of us is equal; all we need to do is claim it.” It feels like often life is full of moments where we hold ourselves as less, or we want to feel more important and it’s a constant seesaw between the two that rarely reaches the equilibrium of EQUALITY. What if equality is simply a) being willing to have a deeper understanding of life b) and claiming that equality as a minimum principle for the way we live..

  32. Your article Doug certainly exposes how slow we have been to learn and change, despite all the messages we have been given. We are all from the same quality of love and all we have to do is reconnect to that.

  33. I love this Doug, you knew all along the truth of equality, you were in the receiving end of inequality with life in the world, but you have grown to realise the truth that although we are not the same, we are all from the same equal source.

  34. My feeling is that equality is a base line and that acceptance that all are equal is the key to bringing us back to live equally in society. For it is only the erroneous thoughts of being better, or less than, that stop one from living equally with all.

  35. Such a beautiful demonstration of the fact that we are all equal but not the same. We can appreciate that we all bring different qualities knowing that no one is worth more or less than another. We are all equally love and equally loved.

  36. I used to wonder how we could Love everyone equally and yet have different types of relationships eg. If I Love everyone equally how can I have a husband? I now understand through observing Serge Benhayon, that loving all equally is possible and that having different types of relationships within that equal Love is also possible. So I love you and my husband equally, but my expression of that love will be different with you, as we won’t have physical intimacy and the same closeness that I have with him. I can’t say I live this yet, but seeing it’s possible, makes it a reality to be inspired towards.

  37. There are so many reinterpretations of the word ‘equality’, we use it from a functional point of view and what we can do or achieve and also as an ideal, like placing all children of differing abilities in the one class. For me I have always had a deep understanding that we are all equal but by reconnecting to my essence and soul and feeling the true quality of equality within myself I have been able feel it in even a clearer sense. Equality is definitely very simple and comes from who we each are in essence. In a world based on comparison and competition it shows how far we have all come away from living from the essence we are where true equality is our natural expression

  38. Equality is a quality of love. The two are deeply interlinked. No matter how many sage words we might say, there can be no equality without feeling the love you have for everyone first. Without Love there is no quality of life. Thank you Doug for these loving words.

  39. ‘Difference’ offers us an exit door from responsibility and showing our true care. ‘Selectivity’ means we are only part of who we truly are. Thanks for offering us this space Doug to reconnect to the fact that equallness = truth.

  40. There are so many things we say we want, that we are dedicated to, that we are ‘all about’. But when it comes down to a very simple level, to feeling something like our very own equality – is this something we consistently do in truth? In my experience it is not. We can go up and down and get upset about all sorts of things, but ultimately it’s up to us to realise we’ve simply let energy in. The truth lives underneath all the time just waiting for us to connect and live it. Thanks Doug for this reminder that everything we need already exists – we are just here to rediscover and embrace it.

  41. It would make our societies so much more simple if we come to the common understanding that we are all equal and the same and that all the outer looks and learned or not learned knowledge is can be used as a facade that segregates us form one another or we can use this wisely to not let it interfere with the natural equality we all hold and has the power to unite us as one.

  42. To determine equality it is very important to distinguish between what we do and who we are in our own right, for in ourselves we are all equal irrespective of what we do.

  43. There are so many layers of self-worth issues and feeling less than that it can take some time and support to discard them and open to the potential that at your essence you are indeed equal to all others at their essence, different qualities, but equal none the less.

    1. What with a world that tells us that we are not equal and our own inner critic adding to this with a constant stream of self put down, it is not surprising that we have so many self worth issues and come to see us as worth less than others. Yet the truth is we are all equal and of equal worth.

    2. Well expressed, Heather, for it is indeed our self-doubt and lack of self-worth which is at the heart of the lack of equality within society resulting in the conflicts and abuse as people strive to be more when in truth they are already everything they desire in their essence.

    3. Yes Heather. Somewhere along the line we got lost in the idea that equality means ‘the same as’. This was when inequality was created because none of us are the same.

  44. Thank you Doug. It is interesting to consider that a re-interpreted word, although used often and perhaps taken as truth, can be re-turned to its original meaning with a simple re-investigation in to its true meaning. Which shows how the truth is never far from the surface of what we are willing to accept.

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