Today I've been giving some thoughts about equality, not what we should have but how it would work for you if you actually weren't equal. This isn't one of those spiels about putting yourself in the shoes of the less fortunate because I know none of us need to hear more about that than we already have. I mean if one more person approaches me on the street asking me to consider how tigers feel when being poached I might just become a tiger poacher myself.
What I have been considering today is how it feels to be considered above other people. Now our first thoughts probably go straight to people like Oprah, Beyonce, The Queen of England or maybe if you are a little more scientifically minded someone like Steven Hawking (debilitating illnesses aside). The life of someone "better" than others can certainly be glamorous and include delights such as fantastic wealth, the attention and admiration of the masses or if it's your thing the limitless access to sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. But for now let's take a step back and consider the position of a regular person like you or I who might suddenly find themselves elevated above their station. Let's say you won the lottery and you just realised you don't have to eat cat food anymore because you can go out to a fancy restaurant or hell you could pay a chef to come to your house. But after that great meal and perhaps a couple bottles of Don Perignon what's next? How will your friends and family react? Will they treat you any differently?
I'm quite certain for most of us there will be drastic changes in our relationships with friends and family. For starters most people will want to enjoy their new wealth and it's natural to want to do so with those closest to you but those regular plebs can't afford the lavish holidays or affluent lifestyle you will quickly come to love. Your option? Forget them or pay for them. You now have expectations on you that you never had before. You must assist those closest to you financially if you would like to include them in your trips to the private golf club or on a quick jaunt to your private island. But that isn't the only expectation you will find shackling your wings of money. Those around you will probably start to consider you a fallback in case anything bad happens to them: medical bills and other dire financial events. You have suddenly taken on responsibility for them. Some might welcome this responsibility but whether you want it or not it is still there without any acceptance.
This doesn't just apply to financial aspects of life either. If you are born with an abundance of brains you will find constant pressure to perform and excel in certain ways, if you are born fast or strong people will expect you to perform in sports and athletics, if you are born a woman you may find many people expect you to have children or if you are born a man people will expect you to keep your emotions locked inside. Does this seem right to you?
It seems to me before we can reach true equality we need to learn how to stop expecting things from each other.