According to an online dictionary, equality- /iˈkwälitē/ is defined as “The state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities.”
A few weeks ago while doing a Google search, surprisingly, I found Lincoln on top of a list of 100 icons that shaped U.S. history. I couldn’t agree more. The piece here is titled “Lincoln.” I did this portrait a few months ago; I love it even more now after having seen the movie.
Yesterday after work, though I still wasn’t feeling well, I went to see “Lincoln.” The movie sheds light on a very important time in our history. Personally, I didn’t remember that there was a difference between the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment. But it was Lincoln’s insights into equality that really did it for me. I especially loved the scene between Lincoln and his black female housekeeper, Mariah Vance. I couldn’t possibly do it justice in words. I was surprised to find myself teary eyed, almost sobbing. The thought of inequality amongst any of us hit the spot.
Inequality exists not only in our laws, but also in our actions, our words, and even our thoughts. I’m guilty of it myself. Prejudices, however small, create boundaries and keep us from connecting with one another. On many different levels, equality equals freedom. Mandela said it perfectly, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
This morning in reading a few passages from Deepak Chopra, he writes, “The essential nature of the universe is the coexistence of opposite values… you cannot be virtuous unless you also contain the capacity for evil.” It made me think of our world then and today. It’s often because our differences and our fears of them that we have inequality amongst us. It made my morning walk a pleasure, my heart felt open. How could I possibly cast any stone when I myself am a reflection of everyone else.
If I can see me in you, and them and there, I can love more easily.
Have a loving lovely weekend.