Equality vs justice

This is a discussion along the same lines of “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Or perhaps a long debate over the difference between patriotism and nationalism. Or even a discussion that drags on to 6am about the existence of god and the underlying factors behind the creation of a church, the operation of organized religion, and the subconscious need for people to believe in something bigger than them and feel like they belong in an organized group – tribalism I believe would be the preferred terminology.`

There seems to exist an innate need to not feel different to the mass, to belong in a group. Inadvertently one compares their abilities to others and to those expected as the norm. There is also that perception that one set of rules for that evaluation of ability is equal and just.

That, however, is not the case for anyone, not just those with extraordinary needs – whether those are mobility or otherwise based. The sense of equality in evaluation sure sounds just, but it is far from.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for equal treatment and an equal approach to, say, the rule of law. Afterall, that equality is one of the things a society is based on. The issue arises when one takes the highest common denominator for performing a task – mobility, exam taking, housework, take your pick – as the lowest common denominator. There is a great picture online that depicts forest animals and says that the test for competence is climbing a tree. Something that clearly some animals, such as a fish, can never achieve. 

equity-liberation-1

We design our world on the principle of equality, taking into account though only our individual capabilities (and in that sense I may be biased in my approach myself). This happens with access to buildings, transport, workloads, and many other aspects of everyday life (which I can not think of right now because it’s Sunday morning). We end up expecting too much from people with different attributes. After all, we are talking about human organisms, not machines.

Perhaps a better approach would be to design our expectations of the world for each individual. To adapt them to what each individual is capable of. The end product may be the same, or comparable at the very least, the process though will definitely be different. That, however, is no easy task, and a harder pill to swallow that someone might need to operate differently.

I am lucky in that sense. Not that I can be just in all situations. But, I am surrounded by people that do understand my limitations. Which, mind you, are always changing, and so does everybody else’s. I can not do the things I could a mere six months ago, at least not at the same volume and speed. I adjusted to how to come to the same result, and thankfully the people around me understand that and adjust their expectations and evaluation of me into a more just mode, not a one-size-fits-all equality approach.

 

Just leaving this here as food for thought.

 

PS justice and equity have the same end result, in my head at least

 

Handicapped cities

When living with a chronic and debilitating disease there are things you or even your doctors cannot change, things that you really have to accept in order to adjust and move forward with creating a productive life. Then there are things that require a bit of adjustment, things that would facilitate both you and a large part of the population that we do not think need any assistance. These things require a society that works for the good of the whole, not just a collection of people that happen to be living close to one another in villages, towns, or cities. And they could change with a bit of understanding and action on everyone’s part.

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What was that word?

CAPACITY!!!!!!!

That was the word I was anxiously looking for the other day during a discussion with some friends. Simple word, common I dare say. And it came to me a good six or seven hours later. Much help it would be at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s not like I could call anyone – or even text them for that matter – and say “you know that word I was stuck on earlier tonight? Well, it’s…” Besides, I even ran the risk of forgetting what I called for while I was calling. That would be embarrassing, not to mention waking someone up in the early hours of the morning on a school night would be extremely rude.

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Those who can not do, teach. But it’s not what you think

I’ve spent the past few months, since my contract in the financial sector expired and I decided to reposition my career path but I was unable to do so because my health had been deteriorating, thinking about this phrase. Considering that I am unable to do a lot of things I used to, and what that meant for me personally. After all, everyone wants to be productive members of society, we all want to contribute, to make a difference.

 

The feelings of ineptitude that bubbled up made me feel helpless. So, what did I do? At first I overanalyzed it. And then I felt despair. That feeling that you are worthless, unworthy, even a poser. But then, as I often do, I rationalized the situation. And watched a lot of Netflix in the process, but that is another issue that has a lot to do with my tendency to procrastinate.

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#10YearChallenge : MS edition

For better or for worse, social media has become and integral part of our lives. Companies such as Facebook and Twitter control our lives (whether you have signed up to them or not, but that’s another discussion). Dictating what news we get, what opinions we hear, what we believe, and, to an extent, determining our actions. Because – and let’s be serious here, there aren’t that many exceptions to this rule – should someone start a challenge of some sorts on these social networks nowadays, and that challenge goes viral, you’d be a social pariah not to participate. And age or education level have nothing to do with whether you participate or not.

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