Celebrate Differences

Thursday, 19 September 2002

this morn­ing as i wan­dered in the gen­er­al di­rec­tion of my next class, i be­gan to won­der why i nev­er see peo­ple cel­e­brate the dif­fer­ences they have with oth­ers. i think it is be­cause we have a faulty idea of what equal­i­ty should be. we equate equal­i­ty with con­for­mi­ty in a vague­ly Harrison Bergeron kin­da way. Hegemony em­pha­sizes equal­i­ty while ac­tive­ly work­ing against it, and pop cul­ture as­sists in the shroud­ing of this act by en­cour­ag­ing con­for­mi­ty. the American ide­ol­o­gy of in­di­vid­u­al­i­ty be­comes one in which each per­son is sep­a­rat­ed from each oth­er per­son de­spite the fact that we all dress, talk, and act alike. Obscured in all of this are the some­times minute, some­times mag­ni­fied idio­syn­crasies of the in­di­vid­ual. True equal­i­ty based on mu­tu­al re­spect would oc­cur if, in­stead of be­ing au­toma­tons we ap­pre­ci­at­ed each oth­er for the unique abil­i­ties that we all con­tribute in ex­cel­lence of our own lim­i­ta­tions. (i get along with bil­ly BECAUSE he can play a mean game of bas­ket­ball, and i get along with sal­ly BECAUSE she can fig­ure out a dif­fer­en­tial equa­tion in no time flat, and they get along with me BECAUSE i’m a gan­g­ly moth­er).