Balance of Social Structure

The True Meaning of Being Created Equal

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All throughout history, Americans have greatly struggled with the concept of equality. When you think about it, equality isn’t always equal in America. It was only a little less than two centuries ago that slavery was abolished and less than a single century ago when women were finally granted the right to vote. When it came down to it, nobody was valued more than a white male whether people will admit to it or not. Not only are women and colored people targets of this unfair balance of social structure, the LGBT community are on the bottom of the totem pole as well. Currently, a huge low blow has been served to the LGBT community as President Donald Trump is working on dismissing the recognition and protection of transgender men and women. The Trump Administration and Department of Human Health is trying to push the definition of gender as “either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with”. This completely strips the identity and dignity of 1.4 million Americans who are transgender. All of these instances of inequality leads people to question the true meaning of Thomas Jefferson’s statement, “All men are created equal.” If women, colored people, and the LGBT community are not equals to the rest of the country, then what were the founding fathers really trying to say?

It is easy to come to the conclusion that when Jefferson was talking about being created equal, he was not talking about physical or mental stature and by events that took place throughout history, not by sex or race either. By just looking at several people when you are in a room, you can tell how uniquely different we all are. Some people are born with more advantages than others and some with some disadvantages. For example, a child born into a two parent home with a doctor’s income is more likely to have a more stable life than one born into a struggling single parent household who lives off of state benefits. Data from a study conducted by Melinda Kedro, a licensed childcare provider through the Colorado Department of Human Services, shows that children who come from a single parent home versus a two biological parent home are more susceptible to experiencing learning, mental, and social problems. In her study, she also notes that, “Exposure to single parenthood as a child also raises the probability of next generation single parenthood by approximately 120 percent.” This data shows that Jefferson clearly didn’t mean by being created equal. Everyone is born into different situations that can either help or deter them. This is where privilege comes into play and the equality scale is thrown completely off.

Although we are not all physically or mentally equal, the meaning of being created equal is much deeper than just the surface of the quote. We are all equal on one aspect of the spectrum though, and that is when it comes to self worth. Each person on this planet, despite age, race, sex, mental capacity, wealth, are of the same value as the person to their left and right. This idea of equal self worth can be traced back all the way to 3rd century B.C by Stoic Philosophers. Those Stoic ideas were then taken up in Christianity and the idea that we are all equal in the eyes of God, and that we all possess an equal soul started to spread.

On the topic of self value, Ann Landers once said, “Too many people today know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” In today’s society, people base others worth off of wealth and the material possessions one owns. It does not matter if you have one million in the bank or a penny to your name, we all possess the same value as people and all have the same soul size in the eyes of our creator. Physical items and possessions do not determine self worth and that was what Jefferson was trying to say in the Declaration of Independence of 1776.

When thinking of how we as Americans are created equal, it takes an open mind and a deep amount of thought to truly grasp the concept. By everyone possessing equal self worth by being human,we are all granted unalienable rights as well. These rights are also stated in the Declaration of Independence: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For example, my mother played D1 soccer on a full-ride at the University of Buffalo and my father played for the Detroit Tigers. My athletic ability per say, would probably be different from a child of two musicians. I’m all,we are all born with the same opportunity to do something great, even though our starting lines can be in different places in the marathon of life.

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Balance Of Social Structure. (2022, Apr 25). Retrieved May 18, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/balance-of-social-structure/

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