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:
- 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.
- 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
~ 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
821 thoughts on “Equality – What Does it Mean?”
“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.” What a great line to read to highlight where I am not living equality with all, and to bring purpose to doing so. It also highlights where our focus is, on the status we hold in life or other physical attributes, or nurturing both appreciation of one another, and our equality, by focusing on the inner qualities we each have as part of our essence.
I’ve worked in the field of Equality for many years, made a career out of it without fully understanding what true equality is. Once we embrace the Unity in Oneness, that we are all from one source, the concept of equality is redundant.
When it comes to equality, I have often thought of it as ‘Is it fair?’ and it’s mostly about seeking the outer to tell us that we are equal by asking to be given the same. But when we were actually given exactly the same from the word go, we each made different choices – so it kind of makes sense how there is difference that looks like inequality in where we have ended up right now, but the good news is that the opportunity to make choices is constant, and again given equally to every one of us.
Thank you Fumiyo, I’ve never seen equality presented like this, so what a wonderful addition to the discussion. We are always equal as souls, however what we do with that in terms of our free will and choices can result in a very different situation in terms of where we find ourselves in life. Without it being a criticism or judgement of any person, it’s a very interesting study looking at equality this way.
We condemn our-selves every time we have thoughts about another that are not Truly-loving, so maybe we can all learn to Love again and Love-in-truth from our Soul-full-essences so that we hold everyone as an equal as you have shared Carmel..
Equality can so easily be bastardised and made to lose its true meaning. I recall reading a book in high school called Animal Farm which was to me an introduction to politics. In this book they talked about equality but then they said that ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others’ – this sums up the fact that so much bastardisation happens of words all of the time.
When we forget that we are equals, that we are the same in the deepest essence, then this is when comparison can creep in. The moment we get comparison, then we can also get jealousy as people begin to ‘want’ what another has activated in themselves. And so though we are all the same on the inside, the differences may appear in the degree of activation of that that lies within. Jealousy that we might feel towards another is simply an indicator that we have neglected to activate a quality within and we see it activated in another and instead of being inspired to do likewise, and dealing with our own hurts around this, we project outwards that the other is showing off or in some way out of place. The classic tall poppy syndrome in Australia.
When we compare to another this means that we are not with ourselves but looking outside of us to compare to the next person etc., we are not taught or encouraged to just be ourselves and that this is enough. This to me is a huge shame because then everyone misses out as we go round and round in circles judging and watching each other rather than celebrating someone for the qualities they bring to the world.
“We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same.” – Equality is about seeing another as the same as you from the deepest essence.
Beautifully expressed Elizabeth, for how can we believe that we are different to everyone else when in truth we all ‘come from the same source’ and that source is pure love and true equality. It makes you wonder why we don’t know, or maybe choose to not know, this ageless wisdom.
How very different, and more harmonious, our world would be if we raised our children “to understand that everyone is the same deep inside, just expressing who they are in different ways”. Young children actually live like this naturally in the first few years of their lives, but often that begins to change as they get introduced to the beliefs of those around them and the pressures of life. We have so much to learn from our young children about how to live in this world; so why don’t we observe, listen and learn?
Though we may choose to express it differently we are all equal in our essence and the more I live this as my truth the less I contribute to the inequality in the world.
To truly have equality we have to first bring it to ourselves, even in the sense that all parts of our body are equal and that we do not neglect one part at the expense of another part. This way we make equality a livingness and not just a nice ideology.
Equality lived in our own body carries an authority in all that we do.
Knowing our essence is the key to understanding equality for in our essence we can feel we are all the same. We can make different choices in life and our expression maybe different but underneath we are all equal and this is something we don’t always honour and live by
Our love is always asking us to go deeper. When are we choosing to listen? Or have we become more familiar with denying our love inside out? Let’s ponder…
We obviously we have more on offer than we are willing to come to, simply because we are so powerful and admitting so asks us to bring it out and more.
Even though we are equal in our essence, in the one whole, each of our positioning, the angle, is different, what we reflect and how we reflect. Same, same, but different. Not quite carbon copies of each other. Bringing in true equality is not about patching up those seeming difference, but in recognising and accepting the truth of who we are which inevitably reveals that we are equal.
We can so easy bastardise the word equal which I feel has been done in some cultures. We make equality about that no one should stand out or earn more or something like that. No one is allowed to stand out from the crowd in the name of equality. It is the perfect way to put everyone down and to not let them feel how they can live their grandness.
E-quality refers to our qualities, not to our achievements.
True equality has to be felt in the inner heart as it lies within us all – it does not come from a set of rules or laws that tell us how we should behave with one another. The fact that our society needs rules and laws to spell out appropriate and equal behaviours, shows how far we have strayed away from our true and natural way of being that holds equalness as a foundational value.
Yes it is a sad fact that currently these laws are required to try and bring more equality to our world until we are ready to live from our essence in equal brotherhood with all.
In out deepest essence we are all the same. The inequality that we see played out in the world often reminds me of a book called Animal Farm that I read in high school which reflected the inequality that is lived day in and day out in our society and how this inequality exists often in an attempted masqueraded effect where everyone is seen as “equal but some are more equal than others”. Crazy what we can fall for or buy into when we are not discerning of the energy behind it.
I didn’t fully understand what true equality meant until I met Serge Benhayon and the amazing people who are Universal Medicine.Now, I totally understand and I am learning to live true equality more and more.
We are all truly equal the only difference is the choices we take along the way, and accepting the choices people make without judgment or criticism and still holding them with love in the knowing they too come from that same love deep within.
True equality has nothing to do with gender and when we know ourselves we can feel that in essence we are all equal.
Beautifully expressed Mary, so true and to understand true equality we must be willing to live this ourselves.
Equality is one of the many examples of where reality does not meet rhetoric or the desired state in society. So often we have rules, policies, laws about we should behave but these things do not change people’s behaviour or conduct towards other people.
There is so much we can learn from each other and every interaction we have with another we have the potential to grow each other or not.
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”. Agreed Carmel. True e-quality is an inner quality and energy we bring to others.
” We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same.” Important to share this Carmel, diversity in its essence is about connectedness not separation.
Beautiful Carmel, to appriacte all people equally on their path.. That is our true way forward.
A very humbling read Carmel. It’s very honouring to feel the equality as you have written. It’s a blessing to feel we are all Equal; and using the power of observation we can receive so much of who someone is as well as all their choices. The power of grace as expression through listening and continually letting another in.
Relationships with people have changed dramatically since being aware of the fact we are all of the same Divine Essence and thus in equal-ness with all. It is our thoughts and emotions that keep us in the old game of separation.
“We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same”.
If we all did understand that we are all the same in essence we would certainly be looking at a very different world but as it is individuality reigns the day and sadly keeps us all in separation.
I am exceedingly understanding that it is simply our spirit that relishes in the perceived and often self created differences. It thrives on being separate and identified with something. Yet in my heart I know there is no difference between any of us really and can’t wait for that day when we all choose to return to being one once again.
I wonder what the world would be like if we actually realised we are all the same, and someone’s thoughts, beliefs, choice of religion or political party or career or how they run they’re life are all just personal choices and don’t actually ever change the fact we are all the same and we are all here for the same reason.
Are we so attached to individuality that equality challenges what we deem to be our rights?
“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.” we can learn and understand so much about people and life, when we come from observation rather than judgment, we are all travellers on the same path way back to Soul.
A great point if I play less or consider myself superior to another, then I am adding to inequality in the world … there is always a choice, and if we bring the quality of who we are to all in life then we support a space for others to do likewise.
If the smallest cog in a clock mechanism is not working then the whole system grinds to a halt and it is the same in society where everyone has an equal part to play.
‘Equality’, ‘Transparency’, ‘Integrity’ – these and many more buzz words used across the world to make a pitch or speech or policy sound great, but do we know what these words mean when lived in their true quality? We can say equality every other sentence, but until it is lived nothing will truly become equal.
The whole ‘equality’ discussion is mostly based on a right and wrong energy and on separation. From this foundation truth can never emerge. We are all from the same source, just like you wrote:
‘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.’
A beautiful sharing that everyone is the same inside we just express differently. This changes how we approach equality and allows me to appreciate people more – seeing that we all have a choice to see each other more equally. And that equality is not about comparing what we have or what we do but the QUALITY we each bring.
“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.” So true Carmel. It is an opportunity to appreciate everyone we meet when there is no judgement or comparison.
I too grew up with a belief that women were lesser and can feel that this is how I have always held myself. What I am coming to realise is that this then is a self fulfilling prophecy. Whatever we put out is what we get back.
Great reading Carmel. I too have been brought up by looking down on people, we were supposed to be the upper class. It was my normal. Now I now that this normal is just a way to cover up a lack of self worth on the inside. How beautiful is it to discover that we are beautiful on the inside, that we are equal?
When we hold another as our complete equal in essence, not judge or react with any other kind of emotion to how they are presenting, then we naturally have a much deeper level of understanding of where they are coming from and how to respond with true love. The awareness comes to us, we don’t need to try and find it…
When we operate with the division and classes within society it is a massive disadvantage for everyone- illusion is increased in some and irresponsibility is also allowed in others- when we bring it back to how much love are you living and prepared to express- this is something we are all capable of.
I just love this blog because it brings it all back to basics in that we are equal irrespective of race, colour, gender, culture etc.
I absolutely agree Elizabeth, and the reason we have inequality is due to us living in separation and away from our divine essence.
The feeling I get is that equality is not a one-size-fits-all-blanket. It’s hard to imagine what true equality looks like when applied in society while we are not willing to accept the fact that we are actually all equal by nature and connect and interact with each other as such.
Awesome article Carmel. Equality isn’t what we think it is. For a long time, I believed that equality meant that men and women could do the same things. Never was I taught that it was about people full stop. It was always a reaction to suggestions that women can’t do this or that. And so, I myself lived in a way that made sure I didn’t need a man to help me with anything because I believed I was equal to him. But there was no equality there in truth, because really what I was saying was that, because I can do the same as you, this makes me better than you! HA! talk about twisting the meaning of words.
” and it is for us to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate each other as equals on this path.” (of return )
This is so true Carmel we are all going the same direction and the more we support each other the shorter that path will get.
Equality is our natural state… It is the way we truly are, and when we connect with ourselves this is most definitely what we feel
‘We all need to understand, though in our outward expression we may be different, in our deepest essence we are the same.’ – my whole body relates to this Carmel. DNA shows that we are all connected genetically and yet we continue to divide the world up based on only the physical and a set of beliefs.
I am sure most of the many many policies on Equality world wide do not go anywhere near the true meaning, so many are written in a tick the box, empty tokenistic way.