Justice. Equality. Pain. Intention. These labels are connected and the cause of many debates, even of increasing violence. On individual level, on global level. In my opinion, the focus should be on pain. And intention. That will lead to the moment ALL lives matter again.
My website is about connection, in any way you can think of regarding connection to Life, Others, Yourself. In addition, I used to write educational articles regarding human rights and it also has been a while since my last opinion based article. One reason, because I was involved in an online organisation discouraging people having an opinion. That impacted me. The irony, some of the persons who did so, are the most opinionated people I’ve ever met.
Another reason is due to the feeling I got that one just can’t get it right anymore. It took me a while to remember that we all have the right to have them. The topics of today’s article are close to my heart, so here we go 😉
Almost at the final part of the study I’m enrolled in, Justice (political, social, criminal, moral), I gained a few new insights. Per example, in short, a philosopher, Rawls, suggests equality is possible, if we use a hypothetical veil of ignorance and thus forget about race, gender, etc. This will enable a system with fair equality of opportunity in which rewards are distributed in a way that works to the advantage of the least well-off. Intriguing philosophy, however, still not sure if it’s ‘the way’ to go. Looking forward to the final module of this course and hopefully be presented with more possible solutions to the current unjust practices.
Anyways, the reason I’m mentioning this…. Although I’m not fully white, I grew up in privileged circumstances in comparison to many of my neighbors. I do my best to not be a discriminating human being. However, I increasingly feel, I just can’t do it right. When I advocate for ALL lives matters, that is apparently no longer ok.
Regularly, I write we need labels to prevent chaos. At the same time, when people keep on using the labels (white, black, female, male, gay, rich, poor, etc.) to highlight their injustice, I believe we’re moving into the wrong direction. Resulting in that what we don’t want; more inequality, more injustice. All lives are to me worthy to fight for. By all of us.
The moment I explain that feminism isn’t ‘a only women thing’, the term originates from a group of people consisting both men and women, nowadays, fighting for equality of opportunity for both genders (at the time) regardless the color of their skin, I’m getting weird looks. An example of how a label is no longer understood correctly and even at times misused.
Not being ignorant, I’m fully aware of the existence of inequality amongst my neighbours. Inequality of opportunities, of resources, of respect. Slavery still exists today. Research and you will find a study was done amongst 146 universities looking into economic diversity among the students. The outcome: 3% poor versus 71% rich students were enrolled. So yes, there is inequality regarding the opportunity to thrive to your full potential.
Justice and equality, however,
is something we experience, because we are human beings.
Nature’s rule ‘the strongest survives’ is a rule we can no longer handle, due to our developed conscious. We are striving for systems of equality and the place of birth should not matter.
That’s why I always thought the merit based system is a pretty fair one. It’s the system most countries use. In this system the more talented ones are not obligated to take care of the less gifted. And freedom of choice, is something I highly value. To be able to decide for myself, if and how much I contribute to our world. The diversity principle of Rawl, I recently learned, is thus going beyond the merit based system. I’m not convinced that is ‘the’ solution. As written above, I’m looking forward to the next modules.
I do not have the answers to the questions raised during debates about injustice and inequality, or how to stop the increasing violence. No surprise here, I do have an opinion. Currently, I think we should focus on pain and intention to be able to achieve justice and equality.
When I state, that we are moving into the wrong direction, I don’t want to imply we should strive for equality in inflicting pain. What I mean is that the emotion, pain, we perceive individually, and maybe even globally, should be valued equally. That perceived emotion, we might not understand it, but can never ever be questioned.
To me, one of the flaws in our developed conscious; we became judgmental
No longer the judgmental mind needed for our survival as a species, no, the condemning part. About Anything. About Anyone. And that is where we go wrong, because how can we ever judge another person’s pain? Since when is a person’s pain, less or more important in comparison to that of someone else? Regardless the cause of the pain.
There is a downside to my ‘equal right to feel pain philosophy’. I can apologize for the pain OUR ancestors caused. I can take pain seriously (by at least attempt to) understand where the emotion is coming from. I can acknowledge that I probably will never fully understand all pain. I can do my best to not cause pain. The downside: my intentions to understand, to do better, are apparently somehow not adequate any longer.
So, besides acknowledging each other’s emotions of pain, I think it’s equally important to look at the intention behind a person’s actions and words. Because the moment we start to condemn each other’s intentions, without seeking to understand, we all are guilty of placing ourselves superior to another.
All lives matter
Not because I don’t understand that I am privileged. Not because I deny history. Not because I don’t acknowledge the pain of my neighbors. I do. I am aware. I just genuinely believe, acknowledging each other’s pain and intentions will lead to unconditional acceptance. To justice. To equality.
The moment ALL lives matter again.