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Advocacy

Different Always

“We are equal sometimes, unequal most times and different always. There is a point where equality ends and diversity begins. You need to respect both, at times separately.” – Alan Share

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What is equality? By definition, it is the quality or state of being equal. The idea of equality, in its most simplistic form assumes sameness; it ignores or altogether dismisses uniqueness. The beauty of humankind is that we are a varied and motley crew of soulful creatures. We are not designed in sameness. Rather, we are each, by design, a unique and one-of-a-kind being. And, as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life.

I wonder at what point does the sheer idea of equality begin to erode the intentions of the movement? At what point do we seek equality for the sake of equality alone – at the expense of our unique and powerful differences. We create statements that envelop us en mass, and blanket ourselves with one size fits all solutions to problems that are as varied as the prints upon our fingers. This does not work.

We allow others to define us, to speak for us. We become part of the movement, yet stripped of our singular, unique voice. We are lost in a sea of politics and bureaucracy. Laws are passed, yet nothing really changes. Because one size does not fit all.

We must bring this to an end.

We must not simply demand equality for the sake of it, but create it for ourselves. We must become champions of our own lives. We must OWN our place in society as capable human beings. We must EARN respect and ENCOURAGE mutual understanding and acceptance. We must lead by example. Only then will we find true equality. Let’s not kid ourselves, laws do not create equality; humankind creates equality, with insight, empathy and understanding.

We need to show the world that we are regular human beings with the same hopes and dreams as everyone else. We are not victims or burdens, we are people, and we are valuable just as we are – different, always.

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