We Are The Same

Caroline - Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Entered on September 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: equality

The media claims that my generation doesn’t care about political issues, that as a group we are apathetic and passive compared to the generations before us. Unfortunately, I seem to fit right in with this description of our demographic. It is not that I don’t care; it is that I have never held many strong convictions, and I rarely feel compelled to fight for any one certain belief, or devote myself to any specific cause. Alexander Hamilton once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” and I couldn’t agree more, yet I find it difficult to feel passionate about any issue.

However, despite my generally ambivalent attitude, there is actually one single belief that I have always vigorously believed in, something I have always cared about wholeheartedly. I value this concept greatly, and it is a belief that only strengthens itself with each passing day. And that belief is that there should be equality for everyone. I’m sure at first that sounds like something that would appear on a bumper sticker or a greeting card, something lofty and pretty and full of false sentimentality. But instead I’m arguing for the kind of equality that is practiced on a regular basis, equality that is universal and automatic and unconditional.

I believe that ones religion shouldn’t matter. I believe that the color of your skin shouldn’t matter. I believe that the amount of money you make shouldn’t define who you are. I were able to, I would eliminate people’s obsession with ranking others above and below themselves, and instead have them focus on each other’s positive qualities.

People’s tendency to judge others and rank them either above or below themselves is evident everywhere, even among people with the kindest hearts and the best intentions. For example: College graduates who secretly feel superior to high school dropouts. Overweight people who feel inferior to super models. The wealthy that feel more entitled than the poor. It amazes me that people so rarely treat each other like equals, like fellow human beings. Science suggests that 99.9% of every human’s DNA is identical. But for some reason, we tend to focus on that .1% of difference. And when you focus on all the ways that someone is different than you, it is easy to lose sight of what you share in common, and then any chance of making a connection with them is lost. I would love to someday, meet someone for the first time, without either of us immediately drawing up conclusions and first impressions about one another.

When the day comes that superficial judgments are ignored, or not even formed in the first place, it will be a huge improvement for the entire human race. Therefore, I believe that everyone should be accepted for who they are, and accept others in return.