Equality – What Does it Mean?

Equality is a word that is being bandied about in the corporate world, but what does it mean? And what does it mean for us socially, in our local communities, and for us as individuals?

In the business world, equal pay for women is a recurring theme, and many organisations ensure that pay levels are the same for particular jobs, regardless of whether the employee is a man or a woman. However, it is also a well known fact that there are more men in higher levels of work, so logically their average pay will be higher across the board.

For example, in Australia:

  • Women make up 15.4% of CEO positions
  • Although 27.4% of key management personnel positions are held by women, one-quarter of organisations continue to have no women in those positions whatsoever
  • Women hold 33% of senior management roles
  • Women represent 23.6% of board directors. (1)

So, although politically equality is supposed to be in place, in reality, it’s not and there are other areas where inequality is still rife.

My own experience of inequality is two-fold:

  1. I was born in the Middle East where girl babies are not appreciated as much as boy babies, and even though my parents were both English, we were surrounded by an Arab community that felt sorry for my father because he had three girls. My parents didn’t impose any views about my being a girl, but I hated being a girl; I felt that girls were weak and I wanted to be a boy. I even did engineering at university where I was the only girl in a class of 72 men. I soon moved out of engineering and into working with people, but it has taken me a long time to understand what it means to live as a woman and to appreciate the strengths and qualities of stillness, tenderness and nurturing that I can bring.
  2. I was mainly brought up in the UK, attending a Catholic boarding school while my parents were still abroad. In England particularly, there is still a class system of snobbery – you are judged on the size of your house, the job you do and many other factors, and we were brought up to look down on others, to dismiss people who were living on the streets, for example.

I look back in horror at the attitudes I developed as a result of these ways of being. Since meeting Serge Benhayon, and hearing him explain how truly equal we all are, I have taken a different viewpoint. Instead of constantly putting myself down or the opposite, looking down upon others, I am beginning to understand that everyone is the same deep inside, just expressing who they are in different ways.

I am learning the joy of knowing that everyone we meet, no matter how they are living, can present us with a different perspective on life and it is not for us to judge, but to simply observe. Not to get sucked in or feel sympathy or jealousy or any emotion – just observe. We all have an innate ability to read people and situations, and the more we allow that awareness to be, the more easily we can understand what’s going on in the world and allow what is, whilst at the same time taking steps towards making a positive contribution to humanity.

As I see it, my responsibility is to develop my ability to feel, to honour what I feel and to express from my essence, that point of deep connection with the inner stillness we all have within. From there I can feel the essence of everybody I meet, knowing that we are all the same. No one is less or more, I am not less or more, I am the same as you, you are the same as me.

This is my current understanding of equality and what it means. Although I have qualifications in engineering, management and teaching, in recent years I have been doing what some may see as more menial jobs (cleaner, checkout girl, café assistant). I’ve let go of the identification with what I do and I am having fun meeting everybody as equals. I’m learning that it’s the quality we bring to everything that we do that matters.

As I look around the world, I feel sad at the wars that are taking place, fuelled by religion, jealousy, greed – all the emotions that come from people feeling separate and unequal to others. It makes me even more aware of how every time I judge or criticise another – or feel in any way less or superior – that I too am contributing to that sense of inequality. We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same. We have all made different choices and where we are is the result of those choices, but we are all on the same path of return to whence we came, and it is for us to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate each other as equals on this path.

By Carmel Reid, Catering Assistant, Somerset UK

(1) http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/statistical-overview-women-workforce

Related Reading:
~ Warzone kitchens: Michelin stars, gender equality and fire in our bellies
~ International Women’s Day: In the pledge for parity, we’re fighting a war we cannot win
~ The Gentle Breath Meditation™ – How It has Supported Me to Feel Again
~ Women Speak 101



792 thoughts on “Equality – What Does it Mean?

  1. “It makes me even more aware of how every time I judge or criticise another – or feel in any way less or superior – that I too am contributing to that sense of inequality.”
    This is a mighty powerful thing to catch in ourselves, as to do either, we have left our essence where equality is not special, but how it is.

  2. From being a small child I never understood why some people were seen as different, lesser than or more than. I had a sense very early on that this was not true. On a surface level yes we may look different, have different colour skin, we may eat differently or speak a different language, but none of this changes the essence of who we are and that is what we are not connecting to as a humanity. All children know this – we all know this as children. But we somehow lose this along the way to adulthood.

  3. Thanks Carmel, and yes we have been introduced to a depth of the word equality that is so far above and beyond any dictionary definition. And you are a particular inspiration in this .. brain the size of a planet, University science degrees , and how do you introduce yourself…? Catering assistant. Just wonderful!

  4. Beautiful Carmel, thank you. What you have expressed in this blog is simple yet profound and inspirational;
    “We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same”.
    Yes we do all need to understand and live from this knowing.

  5. Great definition of equality, for me it’s not gender related because there is so much inequality across society as a whole, we need to address why we have those ideals and beliefs when we know them to be untrue, and look at how different society would be if there was total equality.

  6. If you consider we are all beings first – all peas from the one energetic pod – there can be no inequality for the state of beingness is independent of gender, class, culture, nationality and any other of the defining demographic features we so like to apply.

    1. So true. So outwardly there may appear to be a lack of equality but inside and when feeling the essence of us all, there is not difference at all. All peas in the same pod! Goodness we are certainly rocking the pod with all the wars.

  7. Reading this tonight brings me to a current learning, that is becoming steadily a way of life for me, not without much coming to awareness and many things to let go, but with an understanding that to continue to live how I am is not true. The learning is truly feeling the harm of life being about me, how I get triggered to cut another down, how in seconds I can loose my natural flow and connection that holds another to be the same as me. To turning this around by my choice in how I live and be with others to knowing I am a very powerful woman and what I hold is honoured and appreciated. In this space there is no room for life to be about me, life is beginning to become one that is lived knowing the responsibility to everyone that I have to care for myself so my quality can be held in my body lived for all of humanity.

    1. That is gorgeous to read Leigh, thank you for all you have shared. I often find hurt based thoughts coming up around why someone did what they did, it might even feel critical, however I can see that’s me joining them in the separative energies, not holding me and my quality, constantly emanating the true equality we can live from our essence and stillness. Your point on self care is also very much appreciated.

  8. Well said Carmel. It simple terms I find if we all come from the same Divine source we must all be equally Divine in our being no matter what we do with our free will of wise to un-wise choices,

  9. There are variations and differences in our expression, but in our essence, we are all the same and equal. And our differences are not by luck, but by choice. Great reminder, thank you, Carmel.

  10. There are definitely inequities in life as we have it now but how we approach these and how we deal with them makes the difference in how we let them define our lives or not.

  11. True equality is found within first and then knows with unwavering absoluteness that we are truly equal – to a degree that is most likely unfathomable as yet as we scramble for individuality and recognition.

  12. “We are all on the same path of return to whence we came, and it is for us to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate each other as equals on this path.” I wholeheartly agree. No matter what sideroads we go down we are all on the same path of return.

  13. When I judge or criticise it makes me hard inside, it separates me from others and there is an element of comparison that feels awful and not of who I truly am. Less or more, right or wrong will never bring equality and true Carmel, when I do judge it will always add up to the inequality on a larger scale.

  14. It can be a bit of de-tangling of the programed thoughts that judge myself or anyone. Some of them have become so automatic that my mind tricks me to think they are set in stone. With willingness to be open and aware of these thoughts I’ve discovered that they don’t have the grip I’d credited them for. Simple observation without critique brings so much open-hearted understanding for all.

  15. It is really difficult to shake the feeling of being less valued as it still permeates so much of our society. Yet, I feel that we have a responsibility to see it and not let it hold us back, not be defined by it and see it as a strength. I used to feel like I would never achieve all that I wanted to achieve in this life because I was a woman, then I discovered the more I connected to myself as a woman the more I already am all that I will ever need to be and thereon lies the power.

  16. Like you Carmel I am ‘learning that it’s the quality we bring to everything that we do that matters’. What’s more, the moment we compromise on that quality is the moment we start to wobble and doubt and a whole host of thoughts can sneak in to undermine us.

  17. ” We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same.’ What a beautiful understanding and clarity of the oneness and equality of us all wherever we are in life and our path of return..

  18. We are all at different places based on our choices, yes we are, and great to be reminded of this Carmel. It allows understanding and space in how we are with each other and life.

  19. Well said Carmel, it is not for us to judge and condemn others nor give our power away either but through observing with understanding and acceptance we allow the space to feel the equalness with one another and what we each bring with our own unique expression.

  20. When we surrender to the fact that we all are equal, the stillness is felt within and around us. Nothing else is needed

  21. Judgement has alot to answer for, and equality is the antidote. To truly get there requires an understanding as we all have filters, protecting ourselves in one way or another. If we can understand another, then we start to see that inner quality which we all have in abundance and can appreciate them for who they are, and stop judging them for who they are not.

  22. Thank you Carmel, it’s a powerful point you make that we each contribute to inequality by holding ourselves as less. I feel this is harder to identify as inequality and to deal with as we see ourselves as less harmful because we aren’t acting superior, yet it’s equally harmful. Anything less than our essence is living and reflecting a very low standard, it’s reflecting less than who we all are.

  23. We can try to work out equality in two different ways: outwardly: I want to be equal to them, which in this world may means a series of things. The other way is inwardly: I want to match my essence. We certainly make the first way as the way and usually it is our way. Yet, the real gig lies in the second.

  24. Growing true appreciation for ourselves and others helps clear ourselves of categorising, judging, assuming … or anything else that lends itself to ‘classifying’ anyone, and takes out the ‘above and below’ attitude/illusion that we can carry.

  25. “We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same.” This feels so important to remember at this moment in time when atrocities are committed on a daily basis. What energy are we operating from that allows us to commit heinous acts when we are in fact all equal in God’s eyes? We are all the same under our skin.

  26. Committing to deepening our relationship with self allows us to connect and honour our nature within, for it is only until then that we can appreciate and honour another’s reflection for what they bring for us in order to evolve.

  27. We have all made different choices but we’re all returning, this understanding debases all judgement and allows us to just be with and observe others knowing that inside we’re all the same.

  28. This is something that is in my face currently, “No one is less or more, I am not less or more, I am the same as you, you are the same as me.” Who reflects this beautifully without any trying but from a body that knows this in every cell is Serge Benhayon. His holding of everyone as being a divine son of God has always inspired me and lovingly exposes where I don’t choose to see the same.

  29. To me true equality starts within me: a harmony within my body, all parts being all equal, treating myself as an equal to all others. If I’m not feeling steady within myself, then there’s already a propensity to make myself unequal to others.

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