Perhaps the most important phrase ever written by Thomas Jefferson and edited by Ben Franklin was, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” It is the cornerstone of our American experiment and the bedrock of who we are as a nation.
Sadly, I have found that humans tend to view others by a very different societal yardstick. I was having a conversation the other day and explained to someone that my worth is equal to that of both a homeless man and of a billionaire. What I meant by that was that often times humans look at those that are considered by society to be successful and see them as being close to a “God” status. Then they turn around and roll their eyes at a homeless man searching through trash for a bite to eat or asking the person next to him/her for a dollar. They use the accumulation of money as a shorthand means of measuring true worth of another human being, yet the truth is that we are all human.
Some of us have more privileges and opportunities because the universe blessed us in our personal or professional lives while others of us have had seemingly been handed a bad deck of cards. Many times it comes down to luck or being in the right place at the right time and seizing an opportunity.
Life sometimes takes us in crazy places but our worth as a human will always remain the same; society tries to make the rules but we must actively choose whether or not to believe them and accept that simplistic, if erroneous way of thinking. I personally believe that it doesn’t matter what color skin you have or how rich or how poor you are, your faith or lack thereof, whether you are a man, woman or child, in the end we are all human and all deserve an equal amount of respect. We all have dreams, we all want love, and all of us at one point were born and at some point in the future will die, and you cannot take all your money with you. The best you can do is be remembered as a good person who played an important part during your time with humanity and cared for your brothers and sisters. I will never be worth more than a homeless person. I will never be worth less than billionaire. Society has brainwashed us to believe that the homeless are less deserving than the celebrities we create and worship on television, when the truth is how much you make shouldn’t matter when it comes to the worth of a human life or the amount of respect we give to our fellow travelers here on earth. Two of our most intelligent founding fathers knew it over two hundred years ago.