One of the major tenants for these United Stated of America is that we all are equal in practice and in the eyes of the law. This commitment of equality exists and abides deeply in my soul, my beliefs, and my practice.
Having grown up (until the age of seven and then returning regularly) in Cherokee country, this belief and practice is “the way things are” for me.
When I was a child, I was always treated with respect. Very early on my experience was that I was valued as a person in my own right and that my opinion mattered. I was encouraged to listen carefully to issues our family was facing, think carefully about each issue and then say what I thought about the topic at hand.
Then, I was encouraged to put out what my perspective was. Each time I would put out my perspective, it was listened to, respected, and explored just like that of the adults. I now believe that the very experience of that process taught me equality.
I grew up thinking that everyone had perspectives and opinions and had something to offer. This listening to everyone and seeing everyone and everything as important and valuable was “the way good people did things.”
This approach did not mean that we ignored differences. We didn’t! Indeed, differences were seen as valuable because none of us had the complete picture and others could help “fill in the pieces.”
So, it was always important to listen to what people were saying and not saying and to try to understand as completely as possible about what they were saying or not saying and what they had to offer from their perspective.
- What I now understand is that I was taught that each of us – as persons and as animals and nature – is created by the same creator and therefore is good and important in the bigger scheme of things. We all have something to offer. A corollary of that “truth” is that whenever we think we know it all or are “better,” we are out of sync with the creator.
- So, basic to my entire life and way of functioning is that we were all created by the same God/creator and are therefore equal.
- Equality is a given!
Of course, some may be richer (or poorer), some may have more education, or be different in some way and basically all of us are equal because we were created by the same creator.
- I was taught that some may be richer, have more education, or have a superficial “higher” social status AND, on a very basic level, we are all created by the same creator and therefore equal.
As I have become older, I have more appreciation that this belief of equality is something that has been known, practiced and believed in my family for generations because we were born and bred and lived in Cherokee country.
I have come to see how difficult it is for people who were born and bred into monarchies, dictatorships, oligarchies, and other hierarchal structures to KNOW that we are all created equal.
I do a lot of work with people who have grown up in hierarchal systems, monarchies, dictatorships, authoritarian governments, and oligarchies and I can see that deep down, in their cells, they do not know this fact that we are all created as equals.
I often feel such relief and pride to have been in a country that has known the reality of equality that comes up from the soil and the earth of these United States of America of mine.
I work with people from Australia, England, New Zealand, Germany and Austria intensely in their effort to recover and heal. Time and again, I am confronted with the reality that hidden in their very cells is a belief that hierarchy is “NORMAL.” Hierarchy may be culturally normal and it is not creatively normal. Hierarchy is just not the way creation works.
- All the theories of hierarchy – like survival of the fittest and domination have been created by humans.
- Of course, animals will kill one another for food AND their natural way of doing it is related to the overall health and survival of the whole.
- It was a shock to me when I went to college and discovered that people who had more money, power, and influence than I did were supposed to be BETTER than I was. Actually, I knew better.
- It was always better to be who I was. It was that simple. The creator would take care of the rest.
The more I delve into these issues as stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the prouder I feel of this country, its uniqueness in the major powers of the world and I am committed to defend and support these ideals.
We have the seed of something really great these US of A. Let’s not spoil it with the illusion of the power of hierarchy.
Equality for all means representation of all. We do not need Ivy Leaguers, lawyers, the rich, white people, men, “educated,” professionals and so forth, we need a representative government struggling with our issues and we need a better way to choose or select such a mix that would be equality for all.
- Perhaps we could have different groups of people choose a number of people that are representative of these groups. Again, the idea of this Democracy is great and we still need to work on how best to implement these ideas.
- What if our government was run by manual laborers, mechanics, 51% women, 49% men and all races and creeds to offer what our wonderful diverse mixture has to offer?
We are a nation of laws – and we do not act that way. What if the legal system was drawn up by non-lawyers and the Supreme Court consisted of the wisest elders in the land?
Just a thought . . .