The Power of Equality

Ryan - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: equality
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We are all people. No greater, no less, always will be, people. This is a fact, and it is easy to accept. But the reality is that it is often very difficult to always act on. Best friends are people, but they’re treated a lot better worst enemies, who also happen to be people too. Family members are people, but they’re treated a lot better than complete strangers, who also happen to be people too. People are always people, yet we have the tendency to treat others differently depending on how much we like them or how it might benefit us. I believe in treating everyone equally, like people, no matter the circumstances. It is my philosophy in life that no matter who you are, I will treat you as an equal, and do what I believe is right in the situation without playing favorites or disregarding others.

By treating everyone equally I believe that everyone will grow stronger and be better because of it. I had a friend who was always asking for money from his parents. The money that they would give him was quickly spent on stupid things, and as soon as it was all gone he would go back and ask for more. I was at this friend’s house one particular evening, when he was having difficulty getting more money from his parents. He asked for my support in the matter, hoping his parents would be persuaded by me to give him more money. I plainly told his parents that their son did not deserve to be handed money, as he would always waste it. His parents were genuinely surprised by my honesty, and from then on refused to give their son any allowance. Initially my friend was incredibly mad at me for not supporting him, he felt betrayed, even though I told the truth. Eventually, however, my friend got a job and learned not to be so wasteful with his money. I did the harder thing by telling his parents the truth, and stuck to what I believed in. By not giving my friend any favor simply because he was my friend, he was able to come out a less wasteful person.

It may sound like I am a bad friend, and I admit that my philosophy does rub people the wrong way. Sometimes, indeed, it goes against how I was raised. I was always taught you should trust, love, and support your friends no matter what. By treating them no greater than a common stranger they often feel betrayed and get mad at me for not immediately siding with them. I trust that by not giving benefits to those who are close to me they are eventually able to grow and develop without having to use a crutch. I believe that in the end those who are important to me will appreciate me treating them as equals, just as those unimportant to me appreciate me treating them as equals. It is hard to stick to one’s philosophies no matter the costs, this I believe. But in the end, it is going to be worth it, this I know.