This I believe that all men and women were created equal, but were designed to be unequal. Though we talk about equality in classes, daily conversations, and political arenas, nobody really wants everyone to be equal. The people being oppressed do not want to be equal either; they just want to be above the oppressors in order to obtain power. I am not saying that the oppressed do not have the right to fight for equality, just that they will never reach equality. They will either come into power or still be oppressed. Now maybe in their fight for equality they make progress, but that does not change the fact that they are not in power.
Civil rights are decided by those in power. We are not born with rights, we must fight for them. Like the dynasties of China and the great European empires of Rome and Greece, every nation and establishment of power will fall. In the ruins of that fallen people, a power vacuum forms. Out of that vacuum, other peoples will rise to power and oppress those without power.
In America, although we possess the luxury of freedoms desired by the unfortunate, we are still oppressed. The people in power who make the laws and decide whether the nation should go in one direction or another are in no way swayed by our opinions. The common people of this nation have no voice in our political system; they are only responsible for who comes into power after the systematic overthrow that takes place every four years. Within every one of us, we have a drive and a passion to climb the power ladder. Whether that results in the coercion of others, it is for our own gain.
Where does the drive come from? I do not know, but it seems to be the reason we live. Our education, social status, and accomplishments all contribute to our ability to gain power, but why work so hard for that supremacy if it all disintegrates when we expire? Our worldly standings dictate our means to achieve them, but what do they achieve? Is our time on earth a mission to mold the future or is there a life greater than this life? If we could only understand why we strive for power, we could possibly unlock the key to equality. The reason utopian societies do not exist is because no one is ever content. There is something inside of us seeking perfection, but perfection is not a realistic goal. In unity there is power and in power there is so-called satisfaction.
People on common ground unite to protect their sacred power and expose the faults of others to justify their means of obtaining it. Through many civil rights movements of today, and in history, this has been evident. It is not a struggle for equality, but a struggle to continue inequality in a different manner. This I do not want to believe, but this is the reality.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.