It seems so simple: all the human population has to do to end injustice of any sort is realise that all life was made intrinsically equal. I don’t mean people are all equal in terms of biology, wealth, socioeconomic status, physical beauty according to current standards or any of that transactional stuff. I’m talking about the intrinsic value of a piece of life.
And who am I to make claims about the intrinsic value of a piece of life? Well, the truth is I don’t know what this “intrinsic value” is exactly, but it is clear to me that no one human can be born more valuable than another. When I floated this theme for my next blog post to my family, one of the first things they said was that the boundaries between ‘intrinsic’ and ‘extrinsic’ value is an obstacle to treating all life as equal. Strip away race, gender, sex, appearance, possessions, wealth, achievements – is there any evidence to suggest one piece of life is more valuable than another? I think not. Still, clearly not everyone would agree with me. Even if they did in theory, it wouldn’t necessarily translate into their day-to-day transactions. We believe that we are better than some people and things, worse than others.
Of course, when we educate ourselves about inequality that is inching closer to the what I see as the truth. Yet it is not the same as realizing equality. In spite of all we know about no one life being more valuable than another, pay gaps between equally qualified men and women, BAME employees and white ones, persist. The alternative I propose is that we work towards realizing the intrinsic equality of all beings: not “fighting” to impose it as if it were something artificial.
I’m working on a tight schedule so apologies if this reflection seems to be cut short. Other projects I’m working on alongside include vacation reading for Year Two at the University of Oxford and a research studentship, to say the least! This is what I consider an extremely contentious issue. I’m not yet qualified to explore its full implications. Still, I’ve realised the seeming difficulty of shaking beliefs first-hand. Of late it has become apparent to me that I have some very strong beliefs about my own inferiority, despite my young age and regardless of what I know “in my mind” to be true. I will explore this and related issues further in Part Two, but till then, would love to hear any feedback on what I’ve written so far.